Friday, April 13, 2012

Digital Disaster and Smoky Black Bean Soup

Gaze upon the face of my apocalypse.

My camera broke in February.  The sensor is dead, and it will cost more than the camera is worth to get it repaired.  My little Pentax DSLR has served me well these past 7 years, but I guess it was time to go.

I started taking photos with my iPhone and Powershot, but I wasn't happy with the results.  The past few blogs are excellent examples of mediocre photography.  I muddled along, insisting to myself that plenty of people can take beautiful iPhone pictures and I just needed to learn the new medium.  This delusion held until Lightroom (my photo-editing software) stopped loading on my computer and my older-than-dirt photo printer simultaneously gave out.  My shoulders sagged in defeat.

Beautiful pictures are an integral part of blogging for me, so I stopped.  It wasn't a conscious choice. It snuck up on me.  I've written a dozen recipes to post, but upon realizing I had no pictures to go with them, I stuck the recipes in a folder and forgot about them.  I told myself I'd put them up next week... and that turned into next month... and now here we are.

I'm working on getting a new camera, which it turns out is mighty difficult around tax time.  It will happen; I just have to be patient, which isn't my strongest virtue.  Back to practicing with my iPhone.

In the meantime, I give you this photo-less black bean soup!

Spicy Black Bean Soup

2 T high heat safflower oil
1 onion, diced
1 celery rib, diced
2 cloves garlic, put through garlic press or minced
2 chiles in adobo sauce, minced
1 ½ tsp cumin
~ 9 cups canned black beans, drained and rinsed
14.5 oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
4 cups of water or broth
Salt to taste
  1. Heat oil in soup pan over medium-high heat until shimmering.  Add onion and celery and reduce heat to just below medium.  Sauté, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes until onion is translucent and soft.
  2. Add garlic, chilis and cumin and sauté for 30 seconds.  Add beans, tomatoes and water.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for ~20 minutes.  Salt to taste.
  3.  Lightly mash soup with potato masher or puree 2 cups and add back into soup.
Serve with diced avocado, cilantro and dairy-free, soy free plain yogurt.


      Canned adobo peppers are easiest to work with frozen.  Place indivudiual peppers on a cookie sheet and freeze at least 12 hours.  Place together in a storage container or bag.  The peppers will remain separate, but slightly soft and easy to cut.  Remove the desired number of peppers and chop on a cutting board.

      If you’re unable to find canned adobo peppers without gluten, simply purchase dried adobo chilis and grind in a coffee grinder until they form a fine powder.

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