The Very Best Black Bean Soup

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Home Dried Beans Are So Tender

I just love home dried soup beans–tender, almost creamy, with soft skins and robust, lively flavors that get lost in commercially dried beans. Tonight I made soup with our own black beans that really was fabulous. I threshed my beans in a clean garbage can, enjoying the way the pods curl back, explosively shooting  beans in all directions. To thresh out the beans, I give each dried plant a satisfying thwack and listen to the popcorn-like sounds–total fun! I put the beans I intend to store on rimmed baking sheets lined with newspaper (soy based inks) and let them get completely dry before packing them in glass canning jars. Here’s my new favorite recipe for Black Turtle Bean Soup. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can puree it in small batches in a food processor or eat it lumpy. You can also puree about half of it and have a dairy-free “cream style” soup with no cream. Or go ahead and add some cream–that would be tasty too.

Black Turtle Bean Soup

1 cup Black Turtle beans
2 Rainbow carrots, chopped
1 large white onion, chopped
1 teaspoon shoyu or soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 cup yogurt
1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds

Soak beans overnight in water to amply cover. Rinse and cover with fresh water, then bring to a boil over medium high heat. Remove pan from heat, cover pan and let stand 1 hour. Return to low heat, add carrots and onions and simmer until tender (about 30 minutes). When tender, season to taste with shoyu or soy sauce and smoked paprika, then puree with an immersion blender. Serve hot, garnished with yogurt and pumpkin seeds. Serves 4-6.

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