Black bean soup and skillet corn bread

soupIt isn’t hard to figure out that after I opened my immersion blender on Christmas, I wanted to make  a big pot of soup. Something creamy and warm. No lie, I dream of these things.

I’ve been storing beans like Y2K is coming. I don’t know, maybe it was that Women’s Health article I read on the magic fruit, but whatever it was — I have a lot of beans.

I get in these weird moods sometimes where I can’t make a soup I’ve made before, it’s got to be new. So I pulled out three cans of black beans and whipped them up into a deliciously spicy, smokey, black bean soup.

And to accompany such a wonderful soup, I whipped up some sweet corn bread and baked it in one of my new cast iron pans.

I know, I know — Christmas was good to me this year!

cornbread

Recipe for black bean soup

  • 1/2 onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 jalapeno, minced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 chipotle chicken sausage links, halved and then sliced
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobe sauce
  • 3 cans black beans
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large dutch oven and add the onion, garlic and jalapeno, cooking down for about 10 minutes. Add the sausage, rinsed black beans, chipotle pepper, stock and bay leaves. Let simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes.

Using an immersion blender, mix about half the soup until well blended. Serve with sour cream or Greek yogurt and garnish with sliced green onions.

Recipe for skillet cornbread

  • 1 1/4 cups coarsely ground cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and place a 9-inch cast iron skillet inside to heat while you make the batter.

In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, honey, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Whisk in the milk, buttermilk, and eggs. Whisk in almost all of the melted butter, reserving about 1 tablespoon for the skillet later on.

Carefully remove the hot skillet from the oven. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees F. Coat the bottom and sides of the hot skillet with the remaining butter. Pour the batter into the skillet and place it in the center of the oven. Bake until the center is firm, 20 to 25 minutes.

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