Monday, November 16, 2009

Meatless Monday: Black Bean & Bell Pepper Soup

Happy Monday Divas!

What a busy weekend, full of food and friends, and oh yeah, wine, of course!  I hosted a dinner party on Saturday night and planned a great menu!  I hit up Santa Monica Seafood and picked up 3 lbs each of manila clams and p.e.i. mussels (Prince Edward Island) and Whole Foods, where I found a mix of gorgeous organic heirloom potatoes for only $2.49/lb!  Then, I cooked the bivalves up mariniere style with a huge batch of my oven-roasted garlic pommes frites and served it all with crusty La Brea Bakery bread.


Kuzak also provided an amazing assortment of wines, including one of which I'll write up for Wine of the Week tomorrow, so stay tuned!

Today for Meatless Monday, I'm bringing you a quick soup that I whipped up for lunch one day last week!  I love black beans, both for their array of health benefits (CLICK HERE), but also for their deliciousness!  Because they're packed full of protein and fiber, they're a great choice to base a meatless meal around.  Pair this healthy soup with a great salad and you're all set for lunch or dinner!

Black Bean & Bell Pepper Soup
Serves 4 people

2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can chopped tomatoes
3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
1 jalapeno or serrano pepper (more if you like spice!), seeded & chopped
2 bell peppers, seeded and chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp cilantro, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper


In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and carrots and saute until translucent (about 5 minutes).  Add the garlic clove and saute for another minute.  Then, add the peppers and saute until soft, another 4-5 minutes.

Add the beans, tomatoes and stock and bring to a simmer.  Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 30 minutes.

Once the soup is cooked, remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.  Then, puree the soup either in a blender, working in batches, or with an immersion blender.  Return to the pot and season to taste with salt and pepper.

To serve, ladle the soup into the bowls and drizzle with good olive oil and garnish with cilantro.  Enjoy!

Businesses Mentioned:

Santa Monica Seafood
1000 Wilshire Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 393-5244

Other than Fish King in Glendale, this is the best seafood store in the greater Los Angeles area, offering a huge variety of fresh fish and seafood as well as a cafe.  CLICK HERE TO VISIT THEIR WEBSITE!

La Brea Bakery
Original Bakery:
624 South La Brea Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 939-6813

Nancy Silverton's famed artisanal bakery, their breads can be found at retailers including Whole Foods!  CLICK HERE TO VISIT THEIR WEBSITE!

Source for Ingredients:

organic black beans from Whole Foods

organic canned tomatoes and organic low sodium vegetable broth from Trader Joe's

organic onions, organic garlic, organic carrots, organic bell peppers, organic serrano peppers and organic cilantro from Hollywood Farmers Market

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