Pressure Cooker Black Bean Soup

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Pressure Cooker Black Bean SoupThis vegetarian black bean soup is a fine combination of earthy black beans with cumin, coriander and oregano. Pureeing some of the beans gives the soup a thick, rich, creamy body. One of the keys to the recipe is to season the soup heavily at the end; the lime gives it a hint of fruit and acid, but the soup needs a lot of salt and pepper to bring the flavors out. When making soup, seasoning to taste makes difference between bland and delicious. Pre-soaking the beans overnight in brine, as suggested by Cooks Illustrated, helps season the beans, and really adds to the flavor. Then you can cook this hearty soup in a pressure cooker in a half an hour.

Equipment:

Pressure Cooker (Any 6 quart or larger PC will do. I do love my monster Kuhn Rikon 12 Quart Stockpot.)

Ingredients:

1 pound dried black beans

Brine

1/4 cup table salt
4 quarts water Aromatics


2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 tsp kosher salt
4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 1/2 tbsp dried oregano

Bean cooking ingredients

5 cups water
1 bay leaf
Optional - 1 tbsp olive oil


2 limes, juiced
Salt and pepper to taste.

Directions:

See my basic technique for pressure cooker beans for an overview.

1. Sort, rinse, and brine the black beans: Sort the black beans, removing any stones, clods of dirt, or bad looking beans. Rinse the beans, put them in a large container, cover with 1/4 cup salt and 4 quarts water, and stir to dissolve the salt. Let the beans soak for at least 8 hours, or overnight.

2. Saute the aromatics and spices: Heat 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil over medium heat in the pressure cooker until shimmering. Add the onion and red pepper, and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp kosher salt. Saute until the onion and peppers soften, about 5 minutes. Make a hole in the middle of the onions and add the garlic, cumin, coriander and oregano; let sit in the pan for 1 minute or until you can smell the garlic cooking, then stir into the onions. Cook, stirring, for 2 more minutes, until the onions show a hint of browning.

Source: recipe was inspired by Lorna Sass Great Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure
posted on-line by blogger at Dad Cooks Dinner http://www.dadcooksdinner.com/2010/10/pressure-cooker-black-bean-soup.html accessed December 27, 2010
brine recommended by Cooks Illlustrated