Browsing Tag

comfort food

Beef Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table

Pumpkin and Ground Beef Chili

Pumpkin and Ground Beef Chili perfect for the Autumn table // Karista's Kitchen

This spiced pumpkin and ground beef chili didn’t last long in my house. It was gone by the second day and of course, that’s when I think chili tastes best.

This chili is slightly spiced with cinnamon and smoked paprika, flavored with fresh aromatics, vegetables, grass-fed ground beef and of course, a good beer. It’s rich in flavor and hearty in texture and it tastes like Autumn in a bowl!

Adding pumpkin or squash to chili during the fall season adds a festive quality to this dish.  Each year I experiment using different spices in my pumpkin and ground beef chili and I have to say my favorite combination is a bit of Korinje cinnamon and smoked paprika – along with my traditional chili spice blend.

Pumpkin and Ground Beef Chili perfect for the Autumn table // Karista's Kitchen

In addition to my lovely Karista’s Kitchen spices, which you can currently find in the Karista’s Kitchen store, I love adding beer to my chili. A flavorful pilsner, which is what I use, light red ale or cream stout are excellent beer choices for chili.

Using beer in chili adds another layer of flavor and compliments the vegetables and spices as well as the ground beef. I don’t recommend using beer that is high in IBU (International Bitterness Units), like an IPA, because it’ll make your chili taste bitter. I adore sipping IPA’s but I don’t recommend using an IPA in chili.

I also prepare a vegetarian version of this chili using only the roasted pumpkin and beans. Although my crew enjoys the ground beef version, they also adore this cozy vegetarian version as well. 

Must I wrestle the pumpkin you might ask? No need. I cut the sugar pie pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds, rub with a little oil and place flesh side down in a baking dish. Then I fill the baking dish with about an inch of water and roast at 350F. until just slightly under cooked. Once the pumpkin has cooled, the skin is easily removed and you can dice the pumpkin for the chili. Don’t worry about uniform diced pumpkin, just dice it up however you like and once it’s in the chili it’ll look fabulous.

This pumpkin and ground beef chili is flavorful and satisfying and I know it will add a flair of festivity to your fall and holiday season.

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Pumpkin Love!

Karista

Pumpkin and Ground Beef Chili

Serving Size: 4-6

Pumpkin and Ground Beef Chili

Ingredients

  • 1 3-4lb sugar pie pumpkin(you will need 2 cups cubed cooked pumpkin)
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 1/4 cup corn flour or 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1/2 teaspoon Karista's Kitchen Korinje Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Karista's Kitchen Smoked Paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 12 ounce bottle of pilsner beer (or red ale/cream stout)
  • 1-2 cups beef or vegetable broth
  • 1 15 ounce can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15 ounce can of kidney beans or chili beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • Serve with sour cream, chopped cilantro, green onions and cheddar cheese

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
  • Cut the sugar pie pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds. Brush the flesh with 1-2 tablespoons of the olive oil and then place the pumpkin halves flesh side down in a baking dish. Add about 1 inch of water in the baking dish and then place it in the oven. You want to slightly under bake the pumpkin so that you can cube it for the chili. Bake the pumpkin for about 20 minutes and then check for tenderness. If it's still a bit hard, bake the pumpkin for another 10 minutes or until it's tender but still firm. Remove from the oven and let it cool.
  • In a large pot over medium high heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the onion and sauté just until it's tender. Then add the garlic and the ground beef. While you're cooking the ground beef, mix in the 1/4 cup of corn flour or corn starch. Stir in the cinnamon, smoked paprika, chili powder, coriander, cumin, brown sugar and pinch of cayenne.
  • Once the ground beef is mostly cooked, don't over cook, add the tomato paste and beer. Stir until incorporated. Then add the 2 cans of beans, dried bay leaf and at least one cup of broth. Reserve the second cup of broth and use it as needed.
  • Let the chili simmer on low for about 30 minutes to develop all the lush flavors.
  • While your simmering the chili, peel and cube the cooled pumpkin.
  • Gently stir the 2 cups pumpkin cubes into the chili and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add additional broth if needed.
  • Serve with sour cream, chopped cilantro, green onion and cheddar cheese if desired. This chili will keep for about 3-4 days in the refrigerator. But I honestly don't think it'll be there in three days 🙂 .
  • Notes

    Ack! I completely forgot the brown sugar in the recipe so I've just updated.

    Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
    http://karistaskitchen.com/2016/10/06/pumpkin-ground-beef-chili/

     

     

    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly vegetarian

    Classic Eggplant Parmesan

    Classic Eggplant Parmesan // Karista's Kitchen

    I can’t think of a better way to begin the new year than with this dreamy Classic Eggplant Parmesan.

    It wasn’t long ago that I could hardly boil water.  I’m not kidding.  Years ago, anything I cooked could have caused a slow and painful death. Yep, I’m a tiny bit dramatic, but truly, it may not be far from the truth.

    Back in the day, my signature meal was a sausage quiche I learned to make while living in Louisiana, fried chicken, biscuits, turkey kielbasa and sauerkraut and a few meals on the grill.  That was it. My culinary repertoire. On occasion I would branch out and follow a recipe just to make something different, but even then my culinary skills were terribly limited.

    This is why I originally enrolled in culinary school almost 17 years ago – and as they say the rest is history. 😉

    Of course, it didn’t help that I lived next door to the most incredible Italian home chef.  Unbelievably delicious scent’s drifting from next door right into my open windows – while I’m trying to prepare a decent meal and all I can think of is that I’d rather be eating at my neighbor’s house tonight.   Knowing how much I loved her cooking, my sweet neighbor would always bring me a sample.

    Daniella’s eggplant parmesan was my favorite dish she made – olive oil fried eggplant layered among shredded mozzarella and homemade sauce.  A little bit of work but so worth every ounce of effort.  I’ve made eggplant parmesan for years now and tweaked the original recipe just a hair since those days.  Rather than labor over the flour, egg and breadcrumbs, I simply salt, pepper and flour the eggplant (I can be a lazy chef), lightly fry and then begin to layer.  Sometimes I’ll layer in a bit of herbed ricotta and I adore using whole milk mozzarella or buffalo mozzarella.  You can make your own sauce or use your favorite.

    I like to make this in individual serving dishes but family style works just as well.  Serve with your favorite tossed green salad or THIS salad or THIS salad and I also love THIS salad, and some crusty Italian bread.

    However you like to prepare this Classic Eggplant Parmesan, it will be a huge hit at your kitchen table.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

     

    Classic Eggplant Parmesan

    Serving Size: 4-6

    Classic Eggplant Parmesan

    This is probably one of the most quintessential Italian dishes. Lush and rich in flavor as well as texture, this dish can stand on it’s own or be served as a lovely side dish.

    Photos originally published in 2015 Dec/Jan Issue of Home By Design Magazine by Karista Bennett

    Ingredients

    • 1-2 large eggplants, peeled and sliced about ¼ inch thick rounds or sliced lengthwise
    • Sea or Kosher salt
    • 2 cups Whole milk mozzarella, shredded or sliced
    • 1 cup Romano cheese, shredded
    • ½ cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • ½ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
    • ½ cup grated parmesan for garnish
    • 3 cups of your favorite tomato sauce

    Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • Salt the eggplant slices and let them sit in a colander in a large bowl for about 20-30 minutes to drain the excess liquid from the eggplant. Rinse the eggplant slices and pat dry with a paper towel.
  • Dust the eggplant slices with the flour, shaking off the extra flour. Using a large skillet or frying pan, heat the extra virgin olive oil over medium high heat.
  • Once the oil is hot, but not smoking, pan-fry the eggplant slices just until golden brown. Place the eggplant slices on a paper towel lined cookie sheet to absorb the excess oil. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.
  • Once the eggplant slices have been browned, place ¼ cup of tomato sauce into the bottom of an 8x8 baking dish, or if using 2 eggplants, a 10x15x2 rectangular baking dish. You can also prepare this recipe in individual baking dishes.
  • Layer slices of eggplant over the tomato sauce and then top with a little more sauce and a layer of mozzarella and Romano and a little chopped fresh basil. Continue layering the eggplant, sauce, cheese and basil. I usually end up with 3-4 layers.
  • Cover with foil and bake for about 15-20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes.
  • Remove the eggplant from the oven and let it rest for about 10 minutes before serving. Slice into squares and serve with additional sauce and parmesan cheese.
  • Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
    http://karistaskitchen.com/2016/01/04/classic-eggplant-parmesan/

    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Sassy Side dishes vegetarian

    The Best Broccoli Mac and Cheese

    The Best Broccoli Mac and Cheese // Karista's Kitchen

    Well this has been an interesting day.

    I tested a muffin recipe for the fourth time this morning and Horray! It worked. I was sweating this one. I burnt the first set of brown sugar bacon because I wasn’t paying attention and then I added way too much vodka to the bloody mary’s that I was supposed to shoot.  I had to run back to the market for more tomato juice, which of course is more than just a little hike from where I live.

    I’m still in my yoga pants and ball cap (because Tank and I went on our run this morning) the kitchen looks like a meal exploded and my daughter has friends coming over in an hour. Hmm…  I will not be sipping bloody mary’s today. 🙁

    What did happen was my absolute favorite Broccoli Mac and Cheese recipe.  

    I’m out tonight with the youngest sassy gal and I thought I’d make it to leave in the fridge for the rest of my Bennett Crew.  It’s hands down one of the best Broccoli Mac and Cheese recipes I’ve tasted.  Not because I make it ALL the time, but because it’s the most delicious, creamy and lush sauce that will make you want to pour it in a pretty glass and sip.

    The Best Broccoli Mac and Cheese // Karista's Kitchen

    Laced with garlic, dry mustard and paprika, this cheese sauce is everything you expect in a macaroni and cheese sauce.

    A silky texture that gently blankets the broccoli and macaroni with robust flavor that keeps one coming back for seconds.  Every type and brand of cheddar is a little different and will change the flavor profile a bit.  So be sure to use your favorite cheddar cheese or a quality local cheddar is always a good choice.

    After posting this Broccoli Mac and Cheese recipe I’m off to clean up the disaster downstairs and apply a little make-up, so I won’t scare people. Hope your day is a happy one!

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    The Best Broccoli Mac and Cheese

    Serving Size: 4-6

    The Best Broccoli Mac and Cheese

    Ingredients

    • 12 ounces to 1 lb macaroni pasta or gluten free macaroni
    • 1 lb fresh broccoli, cut into bite sized florets or one 10-12 ounce package frozen broccoli florets
    • 4 tablespoons butter
    • 1 large or 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
    • 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
    • 2-3 cups warm half n half, depending on how thin or thick you like the sauce
    • 1 teaspoon of dry-yellow mustard
    • 1/2 heaping teaspoon sweet paprika
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 2 cups shredded good quality cheddar cheese (I love an aged Irish cheddar)
    • ¼ cup bread crumbs or panko
    • ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese
    • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
    • 1-2 tablespoons butter

    Instructions

  • Butter 4-6 individual serving dishes or one 9x11 baking dish.
  • Prepare the pasta according to the package directions, however, 5-8 minutes prior to the pasta being done, add the broccoli florets to the pasta and continue to cook until the pasta is done and broccoli is crisp tender.
  • While the pasta and broccoli are simmering, make the sauce.
  • Add the butter to a large sauce pan over medium heat. When the butter is melted, add the minced garlic and stir for one minute. Then whisk in the flour and let it cook another minute.
  • Next slowly whisk in 2 cups of the warm half n half. Once the mixture begins to thicken, add ¼ cup more milk at a time, as needed for the desired consistency
  • Stir the dry-yellow mustard and paprika into the cheese sauce. Then take the sauce off the heat and season to taste with salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
  • Toss the drained pasta and broccoli with the cheese sauce and then place in the individual baking dishes or one larger baking dish.
  • Mix together the ¼ cup shredded cheddar, the panko or breadcrumbs and the olive oil. Sprinkle it over the Broccoli Mac and Cheese and pop it under the broiler for about 5 minutes, or until the topping is toasty.
  • Remove from the oven and serve.
  • Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
    http://karistaskitchen.com/2015/11/24/the-best-broccoli-mac-and-cheese/

     

    Beef Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly

    Winter Beef & Vegetable Cobbler with Sour Cream & Chive Biscuits


    Winter Beef and Vegetable Cobbler with Sour Cream and Chive Biscuits // Karista's Kitchen

    There is something so beautiful and restorative about a braised beef dish that is topped with fluffy savory biscuits.  Each spoonful filled with a little biscuit, a little beef and a little sauce – making each bite a delicious and comforting memory.

    Rather than stew meat, I use flank steak in this gorgeous dish.  Although I typically use flank steak for grilling, a well marbled flank steak makes a nice alternative to stew meat.  It’s a flavorful cut of beef and becomes quite tender when braised or slow cooked.  Braising and slow cooking are basically the same, however, a few minor adjustments usually need to be made when interchanging these methods of cooking.  Click HERE for an excellent conversion guide for Dutch oven and Slow Cooker cooking methods.

    Winter Beef and Vegetable Cobbler with Sour Cream and Chive Biscuits

    Flank steak also pairs deliciously with winter root vegetables and adding porcini mushrooms into the dish deepens the flavors and the sauce.  The crowning glory of this dish?  Those sour cream and chive biscuits

    The finished dish makes the most gorgeous and delightful comfort food.  This is a meal to be enjoyed family style with big bowls and spoons and maybe a little butter for those biscuits.  Winter never tasted so good.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Winter Beef & Vegetable Cobbler with Sour Cream & Chive Biscuits

    Ingredients

    • 2 lbs flank steak, one inch cubed
    • Salt and Pepper
    • 1/4 cup flour for dusting
    • 3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
    • 1 cup hot water
    • 1 large onion, diced
    • 2 carrots, diced
    • 3 gloves garlic, minced
    • 2 ribs celery, diced
    • 1 parsnip, diced
    • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
    • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves, chopped
    • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
    • 1 cup red wine
    • 2 cups beef broth
    • 2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
    • Salt and Pepper to taste
    • !For the Sour Cream and Chive Biscuits
    • 1 cup self rising flour, 1/4 cup for rolling out
    • 6 tablespoons very cold butter, diced
    • 8 ounce sour cream
    • 1-2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives

    Instructions

  • Place the dried mushrooms in a bowl and cover with the one cup of boiling water. Let the mushrooms sit for about 15 minutes. Once they are soft, strain them from the water and then finely dice the mushrooms. Set aside.
  • Season the steak cubes with salt and pepper and then dust with the 1/4 cup flour, tossing to combine. Heat a Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium high heat and add a few tablespoons of olive oil. When the oil is hot add some of the beef cubes. You will need to cook the beef in batches. If you load up the bottom of the pot with too much beef, it will bring down the temperature of the oil and the pot and the beef cubes won’t brown. Transfer the browned beef to a platter and reserve.
  • Next, in the same pot, turn the heat down to medium and add the onions, carrots, parsnips and fresh herbs, adding a little more oil if needed. Sauté the vegetables until slightly tender (the onions will be the most tender), about 8-10 minutes. Stir in the garlic the last few minutes of cooking. This is so the garlic doesn’t brown. Brown garlic tastes bitter and we don’t want to risk your lovely cobbler tasting bitter.
  • Return the beef with juices to the pot and then stir in the chopped porcini mushrooms, mustard, red wine and beef broth. Bring the stew to a lively simmer then turn down the heat to low and let the stew cook for about 20-30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and the liquid feels a little saucy. Season to taste with salt and pepper. While the stew is simmering, prepare the biscuits.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 400F.
  • Transfer the beef and vegetable stew to an 8×11 or 9×13 baking dish. I prefer an 8×11 baking dish because it’s smaller and allows the stew to be deeper in the pan, which makes for fantastic cobbler. Top the beef and vegetable stew with the biscuits and brush each biscuit with butter.
  • Place the baking dish in the oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until the biscuits are nicely browned on top. You want a rich color on the biscuits to be sure they are done. Take the cobbler out of the oven and let it stand for about 5-10 minutes before serving.
  • For the Biscuits
  • Add the flour and diced butter to a large bowl and work in the butter using a pastry cutter or your hands. You should see pea sized crumbs. Then mix in the sour cream and chives until the dough forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
  • Pour the dough onto a well floured surface and roll out to your desired thickness. Cut into biscuits with a 2″ biscuit cutter, dipping in flour in between cutting biscuits. Place the biscuits on the beef and vegetable stew and brush each biscuit with melted butter. Continue with recipe above.
  • If you’d like to make these biscuits without the stew, place the biscuits on a lined baking sheet, brush with butter and bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the biscuits are a deep golden brown. Bring them out of the oven and serve warm
  • Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
    http://karistaskitchen.com/2015/02/05/winter-beef-vegetable-cobbler-with-sour-cream-chive-biscuits/

     

     

     

    Appetizers Karista's Kitchen Sassy Side dishes Soup

    Red Curry Cauliflower Soup

    Red Curry Cauliflower Soup

    I could eat my weight in cauliflower and in red curry cauliflower soup.  I like it steamed, roasted, pureed into mashers, served raw with pesto or Bagna Cauda and in soup.  Who knew this opaque and not terribly attractive veggie could light my culinary fire?

    I think it has to be in the top five of my favorite veggies.  Cauliflower is versatile, affordable, nutritious and relatively painless to prepare, just like this Red Curry Cauliflower Soup. 

    Red Curry Cauliflower Soup // Karista's Kitchen

    This soup couldn’t be easier.  It also holds well in the frig for up to three days, as well as in the freezer for up to two months.  I love pairing this soup with a seasonal chopped salad and crusty bread or Naan for dipping.

    I also serve this soup as a starter for a dinner party or a light lunch with an Asian chicken salad.  And of course, you can dine on a bowl of this soup a la carte with your favorite glass of wine.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Red Curry Cauliflower Soup

    Serving Size: 2-4

    Red Curry Cauliflower Soup

    Ingredients

    • 2 tablespoons coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 large head cauliflower (about 2-2 1/2 lbs) stemmed and chopped
    • 1 large yellow onion, diced
    • 3-4 cloves garlic, finely diced
    • 1 stick lemongrass, halved vertically
    • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
    • 1 handful cilantro, chopped
    • 1 14oz can coconut milk (not light)
    • 2 cups vegetable broth
    • 1 ½ tablespoons Thai red curry paste
    • ½ teaspoon turmeric
    • Squeeze of lime juice to taste
    • Season with salt and pepper to taste

    Instructions

  • In a large pot heat the oil over medium heat. When it’s hot add the onion and sauté until translucent. Then add the garlic, chopped cauliflower, lemongrass, fresh ginger, cilantro and vegetable broth. Let the veggies and broth simmer on low for about 10 minutes or until the cauliflower is soft.
  • Next, stir in the coconut milk, Thai red curry paste and turmeric. Bring it back to a simmer. Let the soup simmer on low for another 5-10 minutes to bring all the flavors together.
  • With an immersion blender, blend the soup to a puree. If you don’t have an immersion blender, transfer the soup to a blender or vitamix and puree. Then pour the soup back into the pot. If the soup feels too thick, add another ¼ cup veggie broth until you feel you have the right consistency.
  • Season with salt and pepper and then add a squeeze or two of lime juice to taste.
  • Garnish with sliced green onions or fresh cilantro.
  • Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
    http://karistaskitchen.com/2014/10/14/red-curry-cauliflower-soup/

    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Soup vegetarian

    Spicy Black Bean Soup with Lime Crema and Avocado

    spicy black bean soup with lime crema and avocado

    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.

    A New Year's Weekend at the Beach

    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 karistaskitchen@gmail.com.  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,

    Karista

    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!!

    Serves 4-6

    Ingredients

    The Veggies:

    Tablespoon or two of olive oil

    1 white onion, diced

    2 cloves garlic, finely diced

    1 poblano pepper, roasted, skinned, seeded and diced

    The Spices:

    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

    The Garnish:

    1 lime sliced

    Sliced green onions

    Hand torn cilantro

    Sliced avocado

    ½ cup sour cream mixed with a squeeze of lime juice

    Directions

    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!