Friday, August 2, 2013

Black bean soup

Spirits have been a bit down here on Aquabat. The icing on the cake was when we woke up yesterday morning and the ENTIRE boat was covered in bird poop! I didn’t take a picture as I was way too annoyed and by the time I saw the humour in the situation, had already cleaned it up. We are struggling with the enormity of everything we need to know and do.

Things just seem to keep breaking and costing money, time and energy to fix. We just can’t keep up. Thankfully we have some really great people on our side. The latest thing to go was our outboard motor for the dinghy. We had had some problems with it resulting from a crack in the fuel tank lid (our fault!) that we had to replace and we are hoping that it’s just some water in the fuel lines that is giving us grief. One of our local hotspots, Dolphin Marine, have been really great and they have just come to pick up Bryce and the outboard. They are going to service it while walking Bryce through the process. He will become a mechanic after all!

We are still putting all of our stuff away but thankfully it looks like it will all fit. We have loved discovering all of the stuff that we packed away and getting to actually use it. I can’t wait to play with some of my fun galley toys once this job is finished! Until then, the pressure cooker remains my solid friend for easy meal preparation. Last night we had a yummy black bean soup. Through sharing recipes, I have realised that for me, food is completely associated to wonderful (or sometimes, not so wonderful) memories. When I make something, I am reminded of the person who first introduced me to a food, someone who inspired it, a wonderful event where the food was had or an experience I had travelling. All of these memories influence and inspire what I cook. In honour of those memories, I have decided to share them. Black bean soup was first made for me many, many years ago by my lovely friend, Amanda. I loved it then and every now and them get a craving for it. She got me hooked.

Black bean soup

½ kilo dried black beans, soaked 4-12 hours, & rinsed
3 small onions, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 chilis, finely chopped
3 bay leaves
2 tbsp cumin
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp baking soda (apparently aids in the bean digestive process)
1 tbsp olive oil (apparently prevents foam from clogging the vent during cooking)
Salt, 2 tsp + to serve
1 bunch of coriander/cilantro, roughly chopped (stems included)
Lime wedges, to serve
avocado, diced, to serve
  1. Put everything in pressure cooker, except for the cilantro and lime wedges. Cover with water (with about 1 inch of water over). Cook for 12 minutes at 12 psi.
  2. Roughly mash your soup with a potato masher. Add chopped chilantro and mix.
  3. Serve lime wedges & salt and enjoy!
A few notes on this recipe…
I used black turtle beans instead of regular black beans, as that was the closest thing I could find. They may even be the same thing. Mine were dried but it would be just as easy, if not easier to use tinned if you like.

While I made my soup in the pressure cooker, it would just as great in a slow cooker or on the stovetop.

I normally loosely puree the soup with an immersion blender to get some creaminess, but no immersion blender here and it seemed like a lot of work to break out the manual blender (one of my new toys)!

We had our soup with hot cornbread straight out of the oven. It can also be served with tortillas or tortilla chips or would even be great on it’s own!


  1. Bird poop and black bean soup seems an interesting mix!!

    1. The link between the two hadn't actually occurred to me!

  2. Yes, I was glad to read the black bean soup was inspired by something/someone else. :-)
    Keep your spirits up - your boat WILL sail......

    1. As opposed to the birds?? Clearly I wasn't thinking! :)

  3. I remember having Black Bean soup in San Francisco many years ago and thoroughly enjoying it. Thanks for the recipe I will try it in my new pressure cooker too. By the way I have volunteered for early redundancy. It has been approved so I finish up at Charlies in about 6 weeks. I intend to look for casual work and Lance and I and the dogs will take lots of trips in our caravan in between. :-) Love Lurline

    1. I hope you are happy about the time off. Early retirement? Do you take the pressure cooker with you in the caravan? I imagine it would be great for that unless of course it's electric!

  4. my mom makes what seems to me like the salad version of this soup. it is called black bean mandarin orange salad and it's delicious. one of my (and Jennifer's!) favorites

    1. Sounds delicious! And I have lots of mandarins! Would she share the recipe? :)

    2. of course! I will look for it and post tomorrow