Tim and I are spending a quiet long weekend in the Berkshires. The cool mountain air inspired me to make soup. I asked Tim what kind of soup I should make. He answered (very definitively), “black bean soup, like Atticus.” Tim never demands particular foods or dishes so I decided I would try to recreate a classic from one of my all-time favorite spots in New Haven. I probably went to Atticus almost everyday my junior and senior years at Yale. It was conveniently located between where I lived, where most of my art history classes were, and the Yale Daily News where I spent countless hours. The had the most amazing soups, breads, and capuccino granitas!
I found the below recipe on Epicurous. The recipe looked too simple to be truly amazing but then I read the reviews. Everyone had the same reaction — wasn’t expecting much but the flavors came together beautifully. I have no idea if this recipe is remotely close to Atticus’s but it was delicious. I do know that Atticus uses a pork base. This recipe uses chicken broth. If you want to make the soup vegetarian, just use vegetable broth.
Instead of pureeing 3 cups of the soup in a blender, I used my immersion blender. I just pulsed the immersion blender 20 or 30 times to thicken the soup. The only other change was using petite diced tomatoes with jalapeno. I also added the fresh jalapeno but the spice really wasn’t overpowering.
I served the soup with feta cheese, avocado, and scallions. Plus, we had a simple cheese quesadilla. Overall a very delicious meal that I will be making again.
Black Bean Soup with Cumin and Jalapeño
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 to 2 teaspoons chopped jalapeño chile with seeds, divided
- 2 15- to 16-ounce cans black beans, undrained
- 1 15-ounce can petite diced tomatoes in juice
- 1 1/2 cups low-salt chicken broth
- Chopped fresh cilantro
- Chopped green onions
- Crumbled feta cheese
Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot, and garlic; sauté until vegetables begin to soften, about 6 minutes. Mix in cumin and 1 teaspoon jalapeño. Add beans, tomatoes with juice, and broth; bring soup to boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook until carrots are tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer 3 cups of soup to blender and puree until smooth. Return puree to pot. Simmer soup until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and remaining 1 teaspoon jalapeño, if desired.
Ladle soup into bowls. Pass cilantro, green onions, and feta cheese separately.