Mention black bean soup to most people and they form a mental image that we all pretty much share: black beans, ham hocks, celery, carrots, onions, and thyme, or some variation on this theme. But here’s a black bean soup with an Asian twist. The coconut milk adds a touch of sweetness and richness to the soup and makes it appeal to both kids and adults. Serve the soup as is, or puree the ingredients.
2 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cups dried black beans
6 cups water
1 cup crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon cumin seed, lightly crushed
1 (15-ounce) can coconut milk or coconut cream
Salt 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1. Heat the ghee in a sauté pan over medium heat and sauté the onion for about 10 minutes, or until lightly browned.
2. Rinse the beans thoroughly and add them, along with the water, onion, and tomatoes, to a 7-quart slow cooker.
3. Cover and cook on LOW for about 8 hours, or until the beans are tender.
4. Add the cumin seed, coconut milk, and salt to taste. Continue cooking for 30 to 60 minutes longer, until all the ingredients are hot.
5. Ladle the soup into bowls. Top each bowl with a couple of jalapeño slices and some cilantro.
This soup serves 4-6 people.