Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Recipe: Gluten-Free Vegetarian Black-Bean and Coffee Soup

[by Kate — guest gluten-free blog author


RECIPE and Gluten-Free / Vegetarian Cooking Adventure:
Black Bean Soup with a Caffeine Kick

I’m a huge fan of coffee.  A connoisseur at an early age, I associate it deeply with my great grandmother and the visits I made to her home as a child, an experience that always involved an age-inappropriate cup of coffee loaded with creamer and sugar.  Today, I tend to forego the cream and sugar and drink my coffee black, but the comfort and joy I get when I drink it hasn’t changed all that much over the years.

My appreciation for coffee in its many forms — French-pressed, espressos, lattes, black coffee, coffee flavored martinis, coffee ice cream and so on — has made me consistently intrigued by recipes for main courses that somehow employ coffee.  Often, these recipes exclude me as a consumer because they involve a meat product of one variety or another.  However, I recently happened on to a recipe (link, to original version) for a Black Bean and Coffee Soup that was gluten-free and easily adapted to suit a vegetarian, so I quickly got to work collecting ingredients and adapting the recipe to my taste.

The Gluten-Free and Vegetarian Recipe

I have posted the full recipe details for the Gluten-Free Vegetarian Black-Bean and Coffee Soup Recipe here (link).  I have considerably simplified the recipe that inspired this vegetarian version.  The full directions are available at that link.  Here is a quick list of the ingredients:

MAIN INGREDIENTS
1 pound(s) (2 cups) dried black beans
2 tablespoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium onions
2 red bell peppers
2 large stalks celery
4 jalapeño peppers
6 medium cloves garlic
1 tablespoon(s) ground cumin
½ Tbsp Smoked Paprika (or more; to taste)
1 bay leaf
4 cup(s) water
2¼ cup(s) brewed coffee
Salt and Black Pepper (to taste)

GARNISH
6 tablespoon(s) reduced-fat sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
Chopped fresh cilantro


ADAPTED RECIPE NOTES:
If you look at the original recipe, please note the alterations I made to the recipe to produce the gluten-free and vegetarian Black Bean and Coffee Soup pictured here.  For starters, I omitted the ham hock to make the soup vegetarian.  To retain the smoky flavor the ham hock was intended to contribute to the soup I substituted in smoked paprika.  I recommend starting out with ½ tablespoon, tasting, and adding more as you require.  In addition, I increased the number of garlic cloves, using 6 small-to-medium sized cloves in total, while also increasing the number of jalapeno peppers from 1 jalapeno to four jalapenos.  I also increased the number of red bell peppers from one to two.  Finally, to produce a more robust flavor I added about ¼ cup more coffee than the recipe called for and added salt and pepper to my taste, as these spices were oddly omitted in the original recipe!

Taste and Results

The finished product was wonderful!  Gluten-Free while also low in fat and calories and high in protein and fiber, the soup was both filling and satisfying to the palate.  Although my taste buds aren’t quite evolved enough to discern the flavor of the coffee in the soup, the taste and texture are winners in my book.

With an initial rich and smoky taste (from the smoked paprika), the soup’s subtle heat—courtesy of the jalapenos—hits your palate late, making for a complex and satisfying eating experience.  Moreover, I garnished my gluten-free and vegetarian Black Bean and Coffee Soup with a dollop of no-fat Greek yogurt (make sure you select a gluten-free brand!) and cilantro, both of which garnishes added an extra layer of complexity to the soup’s taste and its texture. And, while avoiding the calories and fat in sour cream, the no-fat Greek yogurt also provided a refreshing creaminess that made the soup feel less healthy than it actually is!

Simple to make, with affordable ingredients and a great taste, this gluten-free and vegetarian Black Bean and Coffee Soup is a real treat and, moreover, I have a hunch that like many soups it’ll be even better the second day!  And, by simply omitting the dollop of Greek Yogurt, you can have a vegan, dairy-free version of this gluten-free recipe too.

1 comment:

กาแฟสด Aorabika Coffee said...

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