Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Bean and Bourbon Soup

Despite our Weekend o' Bourbon, I realized on Sunday that I still had about half a bottle left. Erf. However, this inspired me as I was cooking a batch of soup on Sunday afternoon, and I decided to spice it up a bit with some of the bourbon. Now, I know that 1 T. of bourbon doesn't sound like a whole helluva lot, especially when you start making this recipe and see what a gigundous batch of soup it makes, but trust me, you will taste it. And it will be good.

Once upon a time, I used to have something against broth. I generally refused to eat soup because of the broth--if you can't CHEW it, then you're not really EATING it, are you? I think not. For the same reason, I never really was a fan of applesauce or mashed potatoes. But thankfully, I've been converted over to the soup-train! Glory allelujah! And now I'm all about the broth!

Point being: I originally intended to make a brothier soup with these ingredients, thinking that some of the ingredients would contribute water to the broth when they cooked. But apparently they didn't contribute as much as I had thought, so this ended up being a much thicker soup than I'd originally hoped. You could probably call it a stew, it's thick enough, but I'ma call it a soup, since it's not got that heavy, meaty, belly-weighted feel to it (though after reading this, I suppose their ain't much difference between the two anyways).

However, if I were to make this again, I'd probably only use half a pound of beans for the recipe, that way I'd have more broth to dip in. If you add the whole pound, you will have lots and lots o' beans and very very little broth; if you add half, you should have lots and lots o' broth and much less beans (which is what I'd opt for if I were you); and if you add a small child or a large teepee, you might not technically have "soup" anymore. So keep that in mind while cooking.

  • 1/2 lb. - 1 lb. of some sort of 16-bean dry beans (I used Goya's 16-bean soup mix) depending on how brothy you want the soup to be, soaked until beans are tender

  • One 28 oz. can of whole peeled tomatoes, food processed

  • One 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes

  • 1 sm. can of corn, drained

  • 1 large red pepper, diced

  • 3 jalapenos, deseeded and diced

  • 2 cups vegetable broth

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 t. cocoa powder

  • 1 T. bourbon

  • cayenne pepper, onion powder, and salt & pepper to taste


Simmer all of the above until tender.

Only major tips: Make sure them beans are soaked to the point of being tender before cooking them, as they don't seem to tender up in the actual soup...

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