RECIPE and Gluten-Free / Vegetarian Cooking Adventure: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.
Black Bean Soup with a Caffeine Kick
The Gluten-Free and Vegetarian RecipeI 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
Taste and ResultsThe 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!