The Foodist: Black Bean Soup With Bananas
This is a Mezzacello favorite! The Foodist: Black Bean Soup With Bananas. It sounds like a bad idea, but these three tastes go great together! It’s not the only banana based recipe we love though! It’s originally from Jacques Pepin with a few modifications for ingredients and alternates for vegetarians.
- 1 lb dried black or turtle beans
- 3 qts chicken or vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup brown rice
- 2 medium onions (12 oz) rough cut
- 8 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped (1/4 cup)
- 1 Tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 2 bananas
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
- 8 oz pancetta or very lean unsmoked bacon
- 1 Tbsp chili powder
- 1-14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar (optional)
- 1 1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce (optional)
- Remove and discard any damaged beans or debris, and wash the remaining beans well in cool water. Drain the beans, place them in a bowl, cover with cold water, and soak for 3 hours.
- Drain the beans, put them in a stainless steel pot with the 3 quarts water, and add the rice.
- If using, cut the pancetta or bacon into 1/4-inch cubes and add them to the pot.
- Bring to a boil over high heat, uncovered (this will take about 20 minutes), stirring occasionally. Skim off and discard any foam that rises to the top.
- Reduce the heat to very low, cover, and cook for 1 hour.
- Add the onions, garlic, cilantro, cumin powder, tomatoes, and salt to the pot, stir well, and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to very low, cover, and cook for 1 1/2 hours.
- Using a hand blender, emulsify the mixture in the pot for 5 to 10 seconds.
- Alternatively, remove 2 cups of the mixture, puree it in a food processor with a banana, and return it to the pot.
- You want to thicken the mixture slightly while still maintaining its overall chunkiness.
- If using, mix together any oil, vinegar, and Tabasco in a small bowl, and add to the soup.
- Peel the bananas and cut them into 1/4-inch-thick slices.
- Toss them in a small bowl with the lemon juice and pepper.
- Divide the hot soup among four bowls. Top with the banana slices, sprinkle on the cilantro, and serve.
- Another alternative to banana as garnish, would be chopped boiled egg.