Black Bean Soup

Helloooo! I’ve having that excellent experience in which you come out of a winter cold punching the air and beaming! It’s a beautiful thing and while I’m putting together something bigger to post here, I bring you the saviour of my health; black bean soup. It worked its magic in two ways, it’s both healthy and powerfully transportive. It’s got enough chilli, garlic and spice to clear your head. Meanwhile, the scent of the lime and coriander will transport you out of your winter blues to a place where the beaches are beautiful and the swimmers are tiny.
In fact, when someone said to me this afternoon as I sat down with this in the lunch room, ‘what are you eating? You’re always eating something weird.’ I didn’t even care because in my mind I was living it up Rio style. Here’s to health and the winter solstice, which means it’s all down hill from here! Saude!

Brazilian Style Black Bean Soup
Adapted from a Steven Snow recipe from an ancient Vogue Entertaining
200g of black beans, soaked in plenty of cold water for 8 hours or overnight
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 red chillies, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 onion, sliced
1 carrot, chopped
1 leek, thoroughly washed, sliced
3 corriander roots, washed and sliced
1 can of whole tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
1 teaspoon of ground coriander
1 teaspoon of smoked hot paprika
2 tablespoons of dry white wine
pinch of saffron threads, soaked in hot water for 20 minutes
Salt and pepper
Coriander leaves and lime to serve

Saute the onion, carrot, garlic, chilli, leek and coriander roots in the olive oil over low heat until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the cumin, coriander and paprika and cook until fragrant. Add the white wine and when it has evaporated, add the tomatoes, saffron and bay leaf. Stir, then add enough water to cover everything. Bring to a boil, then add the beans and more water to cover everything.
Turn the heat down and simmer until the beans are tender, about 1 hour. It will taste a little insipid at first but as it cooks, the flavours really develop. When the beans are done, check the seasoning and spoon into bowls. Serve with coriander and a squeeze of lime.

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