Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Black Bean and Pork Loin Soup

Simply put, this soup was inspired by our friend Kim Hanson for whom I had promised to make soup. He’s such a great cook that I wanted to make something not only nourishing, but delicious and original. He thinks we compete, but I insist that we inspire one another.



1 pkg. black beans
12 oz. pork loin
1 large yellow onion
1T dried thyme
1T cumin seeds
1t powdered cumin
1/2t powdered bay leaves 
1 long green pepper
3T extra virgin olive oil
1C long grain white rice
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 chicken bouillon cubes
cilantro to garnish


Soak the beans overnight and drain. Cook them over a medium heat until they are al dente using enough water to cover them by 3”. Drain and set aside.


I’ve learned through trial and error that beans do not cook fast with the addition of salt or tomatoes, so I now cook them almost all the way through before adding those ingredients. Place the olive oil into the soup pot and heat over a low flame while you dice the onion, add it, the cumin seeds and herbs into the pot and saute them together over a medium heat. Cut the pork into small cubes and saute them in the pot with the other ingredients, taking care that the onions do not burn as you try to caramelize the meat.


Add the diced green pepper and continue to saute.


Add the beans, cover with 1” of water and continue cooking until the beans are fully cooked.


Add the crushed tomatoes and bouillon cubes, stir, and raise the heat to medium high until the soup boils.


Add the rice and stir, then lower the heat to a simmer. On this first batch, the water was getting low, so I added 4 cups, since I needed at least 2 for the rice to cook and still leave me with soup, not porridge.


Adjust seasonings so there is enough salt for your taste. You can do this by adding another bouillon cube or sea salt.


Plate and garnish with chopped cilantro.


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