By now, you should all know that "soup is life". I love all kinds of soups.
It's been really overcast and rainy recently, and that's been affecting my knee. I've had arthritis, mainly affecting my knees, since I was a child. This could actually be related to gluten issues, but don't quote me on that. However as anyone with celiac can tell you, everyone's issues manifest differently.
Anyhoo, rainy weather is just an excuse to make soup. And walking stretches my knee and makes it feel better, so I went for a walk, and surprise, surprise, I ended up at a supermarket. 🙄.
I love tomatoes, but tomato soup was out of the question, since it's part of the "nightshade" family and contains solanine, which is apparently a no no for me and my knee/joint/cartilage issues. What to do what to do, what soup?.... and as I passed a bunch of cilantro, it hit me. Black bean soup. hurrah!! My hurrah (in my head) was cut short by a little, and I mean tiny wisp, old lady asking me if I'd pulled a muscle. I was wearing a knee tubey bandage thing, with ankle weights, running shoes and clothes that look like what professional exercisers would... lol the lies I tell myself.
After I explained my woes to little old lady I went off in search of ingredients. One can of black beans, some cayenne (cause 'm apparently not supposed to have certain hot peppers either *I haz sad*), the cilantro, plantains, and some soft corn tortillas later, I was ready to fight with the self checkout machine that doesn't seem to approve of me. Not one to be denied, I find myself using the same one every time. It will learn to love me... but maybe not, cause AI, rise of the machines and what have you.
I went to make a snack.
Pineapple and Watermelon chow (a Caribbean thing, sweet fruit, with hot pepper, salt, some herbs), and some hummus and chips.
Anyhoo, So the soup was amazing, it took hardly any time, and tasted like black bean dip, or what you might put on nachos. You can of course use dried beans and soak them in water. Be mindful of salt, because most canned beans have salt in them, you could wash the beans off. I didn't.
So I minced some onion, celery and carrots, let them get warm and cozy with some olive oil on low heat, added the pepper, cumin, some other things I can't remember, but fresh thyme and coriander for sure though. Anything else is a free for all.
Throw some beans in the pot and mush them up with a fork. You should probably lightly pulse them in a blender, but well, this will work and it'll be more chunky, I believe the buzzword is "rustic". Add the rest of the beans, whole, and water, you can use stock. I just filled the can and used that.
Now while that's simmering away (shouldn't be more than 30 minutes to get good flavours mingled), I cut the corn tortilla into thin strips and fried them until golden, on low/med heat and let them drain in a paper towel lined colander. I used tongs for the flipping and removing from the oil.
I know that people put sour cream on the soup, but I'm not a fan, and really trying to cut back on dairy (that being said, some shredded cheddar or queso would be great on top). I had some guacamole left from earlier in the week (scraped off the bits that turned brown so I could get a good pic for you guys), and I used a potato peeler on the plantain and fried the strips, it was firm enough to do this, about half ripe.
After that it's just assembly. You don't need to be fancy, but just because you're making food for yourself, doesn't mean you can't present it nicely. You is Kind, You is smart, You is important.
Try the soup. Enjoy the soup.