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Monday, November 9, 2009

Calling all Vegetarians AND Carnivores: Black Bottom Soup!

Vegetarians and carnivores alike looking for something delicious to put on the table tonight – look no further! Turn to page 112 of “Savor the Moment” and make your shopping list for Black Bottom Soup. Calling for canned black beans, onion, garlic, and fresh tomato, this one pot meal is incredibly easy to make and economically savvy as well.
While the total cook time is about 2 hrs., don’t let that scare you! Only about 20 minutes is actual, hands-on prep time. The rest of the time, the pot is simmering away on the stove leaving you free to do laundry, help your children with homework, have a glass of wine – or all three. Love that multitasking!
I used Bush’s canned black beans which I drained and rinsed in a strainer easily enough. I couldn’t find anything fitting the exact description of “Cajun” tomatoes so I used the canned tomatoes with chopped green chilies and they worked out perfectly. Perhaps the ingredient that gives this dish its fabulous flavor, surprisingly enough, is the red wine vinegar. It really enhances all the other ingredients in the dish so please don’t leave it out! Instead of Tabasco, I used my latest hot sauce obsession: Frank’s Red Hot. I had it for the first time on a lobster roll at Woodman’s in Essex, MA this summer and was instantly smitten! Apparently it has quite a following and now I understand why – I could put it on my cereal it’s so good. The saffron rice called for in the recipe is a pre-packaged rice with the flavoring already added. It was very good but contains MSG, so if you are sensitive, white rice would be a great alternative.
When serving, after ladling the soup over the saffron rice, don’t forget to top it with the fresh chopped tomato, scallions and sour cream. It really gives the dish great flavor and, let’s face it, who doesn’t look for an excuse to eat sour cream. Am I right? After Steve and I finished our (second) bowls, I can honestly say, we really didn’t even miss the meat! The next morning, the soup was also delicious topped with two fried eggs (and more hot sauce) – YUM! I really look forward to making the Black Bottom Soup again - it definitely makes the Super Bowl short list as it’s also perfect for feeding a crowd. Try this versatile, affordable, delicious recipe tonight and I guarantee you will be savoring the moment too!

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