Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Caribbean Black Bean Soup

Yay! After a couple of months of feeling a bit half-hearted about eating healthfully, I'm back on track. What's the reason for the sudden inspiration? Well, there's this book that's so interesting and challenging that I really think everyone I know should read it. It's called "In Defense of Food" and it's by Michael Pollan, who you may remember also wrote "Omnivore's Dilemma." He has some very compelling reasons for Westerners to change the way we eat, to escape the spiral down into obesity, diabetes, heart disease, etc. So I've been slowly attempting to incorporate some of his principles into my own diet.

Not that I was thinking about Michael Pollan when I decided to make this recipe. In fact, I made this dish right around Christmas time when I had a nice cupful of leftover ham to get rid of, and too many Christmas calories to deal with. Not that it's unhealthy; I think it's actually pretty good for you. But still.

Caribbean Black Bean Soup

Comments & Modifications:
  • I halved all the ingredients because this was for my lunch at work, and it's really hard for me to finish a huge pot of soup without Dan's help.
  • I'm pretty sure I used red pepper instead of green. Red peppers are awesome and delicious. Green peppers are nasty.
  • I might possibly have not precisely measured anything in this recipe except the spices. I have a really hard time caring about precision when it comes to soup, because in most cases it just really doesn't matter in the end.
  • I don't have an immersion blender yet, and getting out the food processor seemed like too much trouble, so I just kind of smooshed some of the beans against the sides of the crockpot instead. Seemed to work well enough.
  • Sour cream is not for dieters, or at least not for dieters with my kind of willpower, so I left it off.

Verdict: I was really looking forward to eating this. All day it bubbled away in the crockpot, releasing delicious smells to tempt Dan and me to take just a little taste before it was done. However, when I got to work the next day and reheated it, I was pretty disappointed. I don't know if it was the color (the ham got stained black from the beans), or the spices (they just didn't taste right to me), or the consistency (very thick), but I had it for lunch one or maybe two days before throwing out the rest of it. So sad! But, at least the beans were cheap. If you're going to cook up something nasty, better to do it with cheap ingredients, I must say.

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