Thursday, March 20, 2008

20.03.08: Spicy Red & Black Bean

With Kai assisting on the production of my final soup of the season, I opted for what has been, I reckon, my most successful recipe. One of my personal goals for the Soup Kitchen was to develop a deep bean recipe and this one incorporates two ingredients that have become emblematic of the soup kitchen, for me: biber salçası (red pepper paste) and creamed coconut.

I followed the Nearly Perfick Recipe, pretty much. Soaked the beans over night and boiled them up separately for an hour. Added chopped garlic and three minced Scotch bonnets to the usual mirepoix of carrots, onions and celery and sweated the mixture down thoroughly in the soup pot, seasoning with jeera 'n' dana (cumin and coriander) before adding the contents of a 340g jar of tatli biber salçası (sweet red pepper paste). I had a litre of bean soup frozen in my 'fridge, so added that to the pot. Then I added two thirds of the beans with four litres of Marigold bouillon, simmered for fifteen minutes and relaxed for five before blending. Finally, I incorporated the rest of the beans, finished the soup with 100g creamed coconut dissolved in a litre of boiling water and garnished each bowl with freshly chopped coriander.

Sanchez - who discovered us late, but has been coming in daily over the last week - pronounced this a "serious, black man's soup" which I guess means hearty and soulful. Mind you, Sanchez did not like the yoghurt I swirled into his soup and demanded a replacement bowl. He wasn't the only one who declined the yog, though most of the others are vegans.

25 people enjoyed this soup and several others popped in who couldn't pause for a bowl, but to say thanks for all the soups over the past months. Several wrote extravagant praise in the dairy, with repeated entreaties to revive the Soup Kitchen when the season rolls around again. And there were a couple, caught in the pic below, who were visiting the Soup Kitchen for the first time!

Last soupers: Sayonara!

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