Friday, March 11, 2016

Black Bean and Rice Soup (No Added Fat)

I have been thinking of making a bean and rice soup, perhaps inspired by memories of my Mom's tomato and rice soup that she would make (I should try that, too). Here is what I did.

  • 1 1/2 cups black beans
  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice
  • 2t ginger, finely (1/8") diced
  • 1/4 cup onion cut into 5/8" cubes
  • 4 leaves kale, stems excepted (composted) and roughly hand torn into approximately 5/8" squares
  • 1/4 t ground cumin
  • 7 cups water
  • Vegan bouillon cube
  • Juice of 1/4 lemon or lime (I used Meyer lemon and then cut up the peel into roughly 3/8" squares)
  • 1/2 t (or to taste) salt
  • 1/4 t garlic powder (I'd have preferred cooking with a few cloves of garlic at the beginning, but we were out of garlic)
  1. I soaked the beans and rice, combined, for about 8 hours in ample water, rinsing before and after.
  2. After a final rinse, I put the drained rice and beans in my Instant Pot pressure cooker, added the ginger, onion, kale, cumin, water, bouillon cube, and lemon juice (and lemon pieces) and cooked for 30m (I just pressed the Instant Pot's "Soup" button).
  3. After the cooking was done, I waited a few minutes and gently released pressure, then mixed in salt and garlic powder, and served.
I served the soup simply with a luscious slice of papaya and whole grain toast topped with tomato.

Dinner was good. Everybody liked the soup, but I think it could have been a bit more flavorful. I love including Meyer lemon peel in my dishes!

Ideas for the future

I should have made the broth more substantive, perhaps with a little miso, but certainly with more vegetables, like small (1/4"?) cubes of carrot and garlic, and perhaps some herbs like tarragon or dill. A little bit of heat, like jalapeno or hot sauce, might be nice.

The rice worked well in the soup. My wife put the beans and rice to soak initially and picked out brown Basmati rice; it was good, but regular brown rice, which I intended, would be thicker and, I think, better. I might try a beans and barley soup sometime, as a thicker grain may work even better than rice.

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