Friday, October 21, 2011

Quick Achiote Black Bean and Collard Green Soup

Tonight I was in the mood for a quick and savory fall soup! I love black bean soups, so tonight I thought I would put a bit of a different twist on it with a different spice and veggie blend. I made the whole dish in probably 30 minutes and loved it.  You can of course let it simmer longer for a deeper flavor, but the less it cooks the more fresh the veggies are, so I don't recommend it.
Achiote, also called Annato is a great, rich and flavorful spice that I've really enjoyed using in my cooking. It can be found in most international sections of grocery stores under either name in powder or seed form.  I used the powder in this recipe- already ground.  The good news: it's pretty inexpensive too!  If you don't have it, you could probably sub a smoked paprika for a similar quality.
For the beans, if you plan in advance definitely use dry, but I love the Eden brand canned onesbecause the cans are BPA free, and they use Kombu seaweed instead of salt! Amazon has a great subscribe and save deal as well.

Quick Achiote Black Bean and Collard Green Soup
(gluten free, soy free, dairy free/vegan, grain free)

1 small onion or 2 Tbsp dried onion flakes
3 Tbsp coconut oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tsp achiote powder
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp oregano or Mexican oregano
1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (depending on your tolerance)
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt

3 carrots, chopped
1 green bell pepper
1 red pepper (mine was a skinny long one, but bell will do)
4 large collard green leaves, chopped

4 cups organic broth (chicken or veggie)

1 can Eden Organic Black Beans

Avocado, sliced - optional 

Heat your coconut oil. Add the onion and saute until soft.  Add the garlic and spices and stir for about a minute over medium heat, letting the spices release, but careful not to burn them.  Add the carrots and stir for a few minutes, letting them soften a bit (you can chop your peppers and greens while these cook). Add the peppers and greens and stir for a minute or two. Add the broth and beans, stir, and bring to boil with the lid on.  Once boiling, lower the heat and let simmer for another 5-10 minutes, taste, and serve garnished with avocado if desired.
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