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March 19th, 2010 | By Alicia Silverstone


The Black Bean Soup with Jalapeno-Lime Creme from The Real Food Daily Cookbook is pretty darn yum. I’ve made it so many times since being in New York. It’s even better at Real Food Daily. They only have it there one day a week, unfortunately, since they change their soups on a daily basis (some you can get everyday though, like the miso), but when they do have it, it is insane!!!! Call ahead to the RFDs (Santa Monica location or Weho) to see when they will have it on the menu.

And a note for you superheros: this soup can be turned superhero by adding in the salt while the soup is still cooking, instead of adding in raw salt at the end. And raw salt is an ingredient in the Jalapeno-Lime Creme, so if you are a superhero, try to use the salt sparingly.

Black Bean Soup with Jalapeno-Lime Creme from The Real Food Daily Cookbook

SERVES 6 to 8

2 cups dried black beans, picked through and rinsed
1 (2- to 3-inch) piece kombu
6 cups vegetable stock or water (you can make your own or purchase it)
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
5 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
5 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon blended chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup Jalapeno-Lime Creme (recipe below)

Place the beans and kombu in a heavy stockpot.
Add enough water to cover by 3 inches.
Let stand overnight.
Drain and rinse the beans, reserving the kombu.
Return the beans and kombu to the same pot and add the stock and bay leaf.
Bring to a simmer over high head, skimming off the foam that rises to the top.
Decrease the heat to low, cover, and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour, or until the beans are tender.
Discard the kombu and stir in the salt.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat.
Add the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic.
Saute for 10 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.
Stir in the tomatoes with their juices, then the chili powder, cayenne pepper, and cumin.
Saute for 5 minutes, or until the tomatoes soften.
Add the tomato mixture to the soup, cover, and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Decrease the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are very tender and the flavors blend.
Cool slightly.
Transfer half the soup to a blender and puree until smooth.
Return the pureed soup to the pot and season to taste with more salt, if desired.
Stir in the cilantro.
Ladle the soup into bowls.
Drizzle the Jalapeno-Lime Creme over and serve.
The soup will keep for 2 days, covered and refrigerated.

Jalapeno-Lime Creme

2 jalapeno chiles, roasted *see note
3/4 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup plain soymilk
1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 3 limes)
1 tablespoon canola oil
3/4 teaspoon sea salt

Blend the chiles, cashews, soymilk, lime zest and juice, oil, and salt in a blender until very smooth.
The creme will keep for 2 days, covered and refrigerated.
Stir before serving.

*Note about roasting peppers:
Char any kind of peppers over a gas flame.
Cooking time will vary depending on the size of the peppers.
Most bell peppers will take about 5 to 7 minutes while chile peppers, like jalapenos, are often so small they will take only 2 to 3 minutes.
Turn occasionally until the skin of the pepper blackens.
Enclose the peppers in a paper bag and set aside until cool enough to handle.
Peel and seed.

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