Sunday, March 21, 2010

Black Bean and Lentil Soup (Taco Soup)

My family loves this soup.  It tastes kind of like tacos.  You can add ground beef if you like, but it tastes great without it, too.  I serve this soup with tortilla chips that we like to break up and sprinkle on top of the soup in our bowls.  You could also serve it with corn bread and/or some shredded cheddar cheese and sliced jalapenos.

Black Bean and Lentil Soup
2 c. dry black beans
splash apple cider vinegar
6 c. cold water
1 Tbs. olive oil
6+c. additional water
2 bay leaves
1 c. dry French green lentils
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 jalapenos, chopped OR a can or 2 of chopped green chilies
6 carrots, sliced
1 (28 oz.) diced tomatoes in juice
2 c. GF vegetable broth (we like Wegmans brand)
1/4 c. + 2 Tbs. Mexican Seasoning
3 Tbs. raw Apple Cider Vinegar (plus a splash in the bean soaking water)
1/4 c. Frank's Red Hot
1 lb. frozen corn
juice of 1 lime (about 3-4 Tbs.)
additional water as needed (I added about 4 c.)
2 c. raw rice, cooked separately
     (will yield about 5 1/2 - 6 cups cooked rice)

Sort and rinse dry black beans.  Soak in 6 c. cold water with a splash of raw apple cider vinegar overnight.  When ready to make soup the next day, drain and rinse the soaked beans.  Cook them in enough fresh water to cover the beans 4" deep with the 2 bay leaves (in a large stock pot with a heavy bottom to help prevent sticking and burning--and add the olive oil to cut down on foaming and boil-overs).  After about 45 minutes, add lentils.  Also add garlic, onion, bell pepper, jalapenos, carrots, tomatoes and juice, vegetable broth, Mexican Seasoning, lime juice, vinegar, hot sauce, and frozen corn.  Add additional water as needed.  Cook the soup until vegetables and beans are tender.  Add the cooked rice at the end.  You don't need to add all the rice, it's up to your individual preference.  Some may decide to put the rice in each person's bowl and ladle the soup over it.  I sometimes like to do the latter since it seems like the rice soaks up a lot of the broth as it sits in the pot.  Remember to remove the bay leaves before eating, storing, and/or freezing the soup.  If freezing the soup, I recommend freezing the rice separately or making the rice fresh on the day you will be serving the soup.

Cook the rice according to package directions.  I usually use long grain brown rice.  If making 2 c. brown rice, I add 3 1/2 c. water and cook it in my rice cooker.

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