I have selected two words for 2014. I think I’m only supposed to choose one but I couldn’t make a decision between these two words.
Maybe my new word for the year should be decisive.
Someone once told me I had a talent for connecting. Ok, never thought I’d hear that described as one of my talents. But I’ll take it.
A bright young professional, a former business acquaintance, visionary; someone that waltzed through my life but for a season. Although much younger and less life experience, this astute and intuitive young professional was correct. Without ever paying attention to that little habit of mine, I realized, I like to connect people. Of course, if it’s a love connection I’m even more delighted. But I don’t think I’ll be changing my career path to match maker anytime soon.
Shortly after that thought provoking moment, one of my dearest friends told me her Mom once said “one of the most important things in life is our relationships”. That too struck me and I’ve never forgotten. (Thank you Kristen… and Lola)
My friends Mom was correct. Relationships, connections, for a lifetime or for a season, help shape us, make us who we are and who were meant to be; often helping us and others find a solid path.
So, I started this year thinking my word for 2014 would be connect. However, I’m also quite fond of the word listen. If I hadn’t been listening I would never have “heard” both my business acquaintance or my friend. Two words that allowed me to pause and reflect, and then proceed with open ears and an open heart.
I admit, it’s not always easy to actively listen. I have so much swimming around in my head most of the time. I’d like to tell you I often contemplate super cool subjects like why stars split or why some years we have La Nina or El Nino. And, although the weather and astronomy interest me, my head is usually swimming with a list of seasonal ingredients and how I might pull them deliciously together in a new recipe. Among other things of course, like being a Mom.
And how will I segue into this lush little recipe? Well… I’ve been listening to my readers and I’m now connecting you with this delightful, seasonal and delicious recipe that simmers warm and cozy for the winter months. (apparently, I also like adjectives)
It’s a new year with new recipes and hopefully a few new food projects. I love hearing from my readers. If you have recipe ideas or questions, meal ideas or meal idea questions feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll answer as quickly as I can. I promise I will listen and hopefully connect you with the information you need.
Loads of Love and Delicious Wishes,
Spicy Black Bean Soup with Lime Crema and Avocado
I know the ingredient list looks long. But I promise you’ll probably have most the ingredients on hand and I’ve broken down the ingredient list in order of use. Sectioning ingredients always helps me when I’m preparing a new recipe. So I thought it might be helpful for you as well. Enjoy!!
Tablespoon or two of olive oil
1 white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
1 poblano pepper, roasted, skinned, seeded and diced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder
¼ – ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
The Base of the Soup:
1 14 ounce can organic diced tomatoes with juice
4 cups vegetable broth
6-8 cups cooked black beans OR 4 14 ounce cans organic black beans
Salt and pepper to taste
1 lime, squeezed
1 lime sliced
Sliced green onions
Hand torn cilantro
½ cup sour cream mixed with a squeeze of lime juice
Heat a large soup pot over medium heat and add the oil. When the oil is hot add the onion and sauté until soft and translucent. Then stir in the garlic and roasted poblano pepper and stir for a minute longer.
Next stir in all the spices, the tomatoes, vegetable broth and *black beans *reserving two cups or 1 can of black beans. This is a semi pureed soup. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Let the soup simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes. Add a squeeze or two of lime juice, about a tablespoon, and then take it off the heat. Puree the soup with either a hand blender or carefully transfer the soup in batches to a vitamix or blender and puree.
Add the soup back to the soup pot and stir in the last two cups of black beans or last can of black beans. Season to taste with salt and pepper and extra lime juice if needed.
Serve the soup in small bowls and garnish with sliced green onions, torn cilantro leaves, sliced avocado, a slice of lime and dollop of sour cream. Enjoy!