Smoky Black Bean and Sweet Potato Soup with Quinoa and Kale

1 Mar

One of the things I love most about having a food blog is the interactions it allows me with people.  I love that my friends and family are constantly emailing me recipes or telling me about something wonderful they’ve recently eaten or cooked.  Food has an amazing power to connect people; it brings them together at meals, it allows shared traditions, and it evokes strong emotions.  Sharing my love of food on my blog reminds people that they can share their love of it with me.

Similarly, I love cooking for people and having them love what they are eating.  I like to observe their reactions to exciting flavors or rich desserts; sometimes I wish I could do it as an invisible observer, as praise often overshadows my inherent pleasure in actually feeding people.  Though I don’t mind the question that often comes now, “Is this on your blog?”  Inevitably, if they are eating it, the answer is always, “no.”

I made this soup for a group of my co-teachers the other day at our weekly rotating lunch share.  So for all my lovely co-workers, here you go – it’s on the blog.

This was lunch for 15 people, though it was so delicious we were all left wanting a little more.  Perfect for 8 hungry people with a leftover lunch or two! Feel free to cut recipe in half for a smaller crew.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, diced

1 jalapeño, seeded and diced

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled, and cut into 1/2 cubes

2 celery stalks, thinly sliced

2 small parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2 pieces

2 chipotles in adobo sauce

3 tablespoons tomato paste

2 heaping tablespoons cumin (to taste)

1 heaping teaspoon red chile powder (or to taste)

4 32-oz cans of black beans, 2 in their juices and 2 drained, rinsed, and reserved

4-8 cups low sodium vegetable broth – enough to cover sweet potatoes (I use Better than Bouillon and use about half the suggested ratio) and any left over reserved for later

1 1/2 cups quinoa, cooked to perfection

1 bunch kale, stems removed and cut into thin ribbons.

Salt to taste

Directions:

Heat olive oil in large soup pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add onions and saute until they start to be translucent, about 5 mins.  Add jalapeños and garlic, cooking until fragrant – 2 mins.

Stir in celery and parsrnips, cooking until the celery begins to sweat, 5 mins.

Add sweet potatoes.

Stir in chipotle, tomato paste, and spices, evenly coating.  Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning.

Add 2 cans of beans with juices, and enough broth to cover the sweet potatoes.  Bring to a light boil, turn heat down a bit, and cover.  Cook for about 20 minutes or until sweet potatoes are just soft with a fork.

Meanwhile, cook quinoa to perfection and chop kale.

Scoop out as many sweet potatoes as you can (I got about half) and puree the rest of the soup using an immersion blender (or regular blender – but I LOVE my immersion blender).  Add back in sweet potatoes, remaining 2 cans of beans (rinsed), cooked quinoa, and kale.

The heat from the soup should cook the kale pretty quickly, but if it doesn’t just return the soup to the stove for a couple minutes.  If it is too thick, add in some additional broth.

Serve with warmed corn tortillas or corn bread.  You can also do sour cream, cheese, or avocado, but they aren’t necessary – this soup rocks.

Easy to print version (for my lovely coworkers):

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, diced

1 jalapeño, seeded and diced

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled, and cut into 1/2 cubes

2 celery stalks, thinly sliced

2 small parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2 pieces

2 chipotles in adobo sauce

3 tablespoons tomato paste

2 heaping tablespoons cumin (to taste)

1 heaping teaspoon red chile powder (or to taste)

4 32-oz cans of black beans, 2 in their juices and 2 drained, rinsed, and reserved

4-8 cups low sodium vegetable broth – enough to cover sweet potatoes (I use Better than Bouillon and use about half the suggested ratio) and any left over reserved for later

1 1/2 cups quinoa, cooked to perfection

1 bunch kale, stems removed and cut into thin ribbons.

Salt to taste

Heat olive oil in large soup pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add onions and saute until they start to be translucent, about 5 mins.  Add jalapeños and garlic, cooking until fragrant – 2 mins. Stir in celery and parsrnips, cooking until the celery begins to sweat, 5 mins. Add sweet potatoes.Stir in chipotle, tomato paste, and spices, evenly coating.  Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Add 2 cans of beans with juices, and enough broth to cover the sweet potatoes.  Bring to a light boil, turn heat down a bit, and cover.  Cook for about 20 minutes or until sweet potatoes are just soft with a fork. Meanwhile, cook quinoa to perfection and chop kale.

Scoop out as many sweet potatoes as you can (I got about half) and puree the rest of the soup using an immersion blender (or regular blender – but I LOVE my immersion blender).  Add back in sweet potatoes, remaining 2 cans of beans (rinsed), cooked quinoa, and kale.  The heat from the soup should cook the kale pretty quickly, but if it doesn’t just return the soup to the stove for a couple minutes.  If it is too thick, add in some additional broth.Serve with warmed corn tortillas or corn bread.  You can also do sour cream, cheese, or avocado, but they aren’t necessary – this soup rocks.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

I’m also posting this for SoupaPalooza.  I’m “souper” excited to be joining a crew of wonderful bloggers as we warm up with some delicious soup.  It came just in time for one last snow.

Come join SoupaPalooza at TidyMom and Dine and Dish sponsored by KitchenAidRed Star Yeast and Le Creuset

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5 Responses to “Smoky Black Bean and Sweet Potato Soup with Quinoa and Kale”

  1. Shira March 1, 2012 at 8:51 pm #

    Gorgeous! More ways to use kale :) I love the opening paragraph about the importance of food in our lives!

    • vegetarianepicurean March 1, 2012 at 9:05 pm #

      Thanks – you should definitely try this one. It got rave reviews from vegetarians and meat eaters alike…

      More kale recipes on the way – don’t worry!

      • Shira March 1, 2012 at 9:23 pm #

        Excellent! I am just finishing a 24 hour fast and drooling over the pics!

  2. tjalexander March 2, 2012 at 1:03 am #

    Great Recipe! I can’t wait to try it! :)

    • vegetarianepicurean March 6, 2012 at 7:02 pm #

      I’m glad you like it – it really was delicious. I’m contemplating making it again tonight…

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