Tag Archives: cider vinegar

Spicy Black Bean and Sausage Soup with Roasted Garlic

24 Mar
Spicy Black Bean and Sausage Soup with Roasted Garlic

Spicy Black Bean and Sausage Soup with Roasted Garlic

You’d think being unemployed would have all kinds of perks, like lots of free time for cooking and blogging, right? Long story short, that is not the case, so my quest for easy and delicious dinners remains the same.

Here’s one I made a few weeks ago I had waiting in the wings (thank goodness because my spare time has been minimal) that is chock full of flavor and spice! This hearty soup was one of those welcome, warming dinners on a cold and dreary evening. I hope you think so too.

Spicy Black Bean and Sausage Soup with Roasted Garlic

8 ounces dried black beans, soaked overnight (or sub two cans)
6 cloves garlic, unpeeled, tips removed
Olive oil for garlic
1 tablespoon bacon grease or olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrot
4 ounces ground spicy Italian sausage
1 chipotle in Adobo sauce, minced plus one tablespoon of the sauce
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 cups ham or chicken stock
1 14.5 ounce can tomatoes with liquid (I used my homemade canned tomatoes)
1 tablespoon dry sherry or apple cider vinegar
Salt, to taste
Lime wedges, cilantro, sour cream, for garnish

Garlic Ready for Roasting

Garlic Ready for Roasting

Drain and rinse beans (dried or canned) and set aside. Nestle cloves of garlic cut tips up in aluminum foil and drizzle olive oil over top. Wrap tightly and place in 350-degree toaster oven (or oven) for 25 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the tablespoon bacon grease or olive oil in a Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots and ground sausage, stirring until sausage is cooked through. Drain any grease, if necessary. Stir in the chipotle and sauce, smoked paprika, cumin, and cayenne pepper until combined and fragrant.

Sausage and Veggie Mixture

Sausage and Veggie Mixture

Pour in the stock, then squeeze the cloves of roasted garlic out of their skins into the soup. Now add the beans. Bring up to a boil, then turn down and simmer until the beans are cooked through. For dried beans, this could take an hour or more depending on how old the beans are. Canned beans are ready when heated through.

Pureed Tomatoes

Pureed Tomatoes

Puree the tomatoes with liquid in a container using an immersion blender stick, or a blender or food processor. (I used my new Cuisinart stick!) Once the beans are tender, pour in the tomatoes and sherry or vinegar. Taste for salt, and add if necessary.

Puree about half the soup using an immersion stick, or add to blender or food processor in batches. I like mine a bit chunky. Once soup has warmed through again, serve immediately and pass with lime wedges, cilantro, and sour cream.

Spicy Black Bean and Sausage Soup with Roasted Garlic

Spicy Black Bean and Sausage Soup with Roasted Garlic

 

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Classic French Onion Soup

2 Jan
Classic French Onion Soup

Classic French Onion Soup

I put onions on the shopping list, and good ol’ hubby came home with a 5-pound bag of them! I typically buy two or three at a time, sometimes a couple of sweet and a yellow, sometimes a red. But 5-pounds of yellow onions?! So of course, I had to make some French Onion Soup.

I have made this soup before, but the results were less than satisfying. So I printed out my handy-dandy PDF copy, then went to work at scratching out items and modifying amounts and ingredients. I was extremely pleased with this version of the Classic French Onion Soup. WAY better than the last one. I hope you think so too!

Classic French Onion Soup

1 1/2 pounds medium yellow onions
3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup dry sherry (the good stuff, not cooking sherry!)
1 sprig thyme
1 bay leaf
4 cups homemade beef stock, or low sodium chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste, if needed
Thick slices French bread
Butter for bread
Grated Gruyere cheese, enough for topping

Sliced Onions

Sliced Onions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Meanwhile, slice the onions thin. This is a piece of cake if you have a mandoline slicer, and I adore mine! Next, add the butter to a soup pot or Dutch oven that has an oven-proof lid and melt it over medium heat.

Buttered Onions

Buttered Onions

Add the onions to the melted butter, stirring around to coat. Cover and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes.

Uncover and give the onions a good stir, then recover and add the pot to the oven, leaving a crack in the lid. After 30 minutes, uncover the pot and give the onions another good stir.

Onions Halfway Cooked

Onions Halfway Cooked

Leaving uncovered, cook for another 45 minutes, stirring them every 10 or 15 minutes, until they are caramel brown.

Caramelized Onions

Caramelized Onions

Once the onions are brown and caramelized, take the pot out of the oven and place on the stove over medium heat. Add the sherry and deglaze the pot, including scraping all the brown bits from the edges. Cook for about 5 more minutes, until the sherry reduces about half. Add the thyme sprig, bay leaf, and beef or chicken broth. If you don’t have homemade beef stock, I have read the soup will come out much better using a good quality store-bought chicken broth rather than beef.

Simmer the soup for 20 minutes, then finish it off with the cider vinegar. Take a sip, and season to taste with salt and/or pepper. I found it only needed just a pinch of salt, but I always use a lot of pepper.

About 10 minutes before you are ready to eat, slice enough French bread to top the amount of individual ramekins you will be cooking. Butter the tops of the slices, then place them in the oven or toaster oven on broil for a few minutes, until browned and crispy.

Soup Ready for Broiling

Soup Ready for Broiling

Ladle soup into the ramekins, top with a slice of crispy bread, then top with a good amount of grated Gruyere cheese. Broil for several minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove carefully from oven, and serve immediately.

French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup ~ Please forgive my horribly focused shot!

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

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