More (mostly black) bean soups

I love beans. That is all.


  • canned beans are generally about 1.5 cups of beans, drained.
  • A pound of dried beans produces 6.5 -7 cups, depending on the type.

Given that a pound of beans costs about what a can of beans costs…well, if you eat a lot of beans, it’s significantly cheaper to cook beans from scratch – and you can control the taste, nutrition, fat and salt that goes into each serving.

Science (& opinion)

Rick Bayless

From here on out, it’s all black bean, all the time…

Serious Eats

Serious Eats instant Bittman-stylee 

Budget Bytes’ simple black bean soup
Cuban dried bean…

Misc Internet “instant” 





Not cardamom

Revisiting the best black bean soup

I’ve made the full Rick Bayless’ Black Bean Soup a couple times now (I have a Cheater version here) and is worth all of the time (mostly unattended) it takes to cook the beans. It really is fabulous.

Though today’s pot was underwhelming. The recipe says to let the beans, etc., simmer for two hours. But if your beans are very fresh, that’s way too much time.

But the real problem is the chorizo. The chorizo, from a national natural foods chain, was lousy, barely seasoned. So the soup has zero chorizo flavor.

So very sad. So here’s how I’m hoping to save it.

I started with the flavorings used in making Mexican-style chorizo: chile powder, cumin, Mexican oregano, coriander, cinnamon, cloves, garlic, achiote, and vinegar. Of course, I am short coriander and cloves. And achiote.

I am also adding a fair amount of both Bufálo & Frontera chipotle sauces. This salvaged a bowl for today – I’m hoping it will be better tomorrow.

Pose script: I realized that the last time I made the recipe, I used a whole bulb of fennel rather than a stalk. I’m sure this is a factor.

an experiment with Chocolate, Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread

Last week, I made the first banana bread in the first 15 years, maybe. I made Chocolate, Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread.

It was pretty good, and it did contain banana, and it was cooked in a loaf pan. And it wasn’t a banana bread in the American sense.

And what do I mean by banana bread in the American sense? It’s firm enough that you can cut a slice – that it’s closer in texture to a home baked loaf of bread. It’s firm enough that you can spread a spreadable butterish spread (can I please repeat spread again?).

This was moist and didn’t slice well. And it really didn’t need butter.

Like most things these day, it’s written for a stand mixer. You could also use food processor, I bet. I don’t have the former, and my latter is perfectly fine but not big enough for this sort of thing. Suffice to say, I didn’t have a bowl deep enough to not end up with the entire kitchen covered with batter from my ancient electric mixer. Delicious, delicious batter.

Note to self – it was yummy – not too sweet, very chocolately – but not banana bread.

Avgolemono soup

This is based on recipes from Cooks Illustrated, Saveur, Diane Kochilas, and Whisk. Flip. Stir.

This feeds 2 though I make it just for me and greedily slurp it all down. Really, I should just halve this, because 2 cups should be plenty.  It does not reheat well.

On today’s version, I used some homemade chicken stock, some home-cooked white beans & their liquor (cooked in homemade chicken stock), and some tiny Mexican star-shaped soup pasta. I love any excuse to use that soup pasta! Saffron is nice, even if it’s very old, or very imaginary.

  • 4 cups stock. Or broth. Add bouillon if it needs it.
  • 2 handfuls of a small, quick-cooking starch 
  • A tiny bay leaf
  • 2 cardamom pods, crushed
  • Zest and juice of one lemon
  • 2 eggs
  • A pinch saffron
  • 3/4 cup chickpeas or white beans
  1. Heat the stock to boiling. Add your starch, bay leaf, pods, and lemon zest. Reduce to a simmer and cook for however long your starch requires, plus a couple minutes more.
  2. Whisk together eggs & lemon juice in a bowl.
  3. Ladle some hot stock into eggs while whisking. Again.
  4. Add the beans & saffron to the simmering pot. Stir the tempered egg-lemon-broth in. Let everything warm through. Remove the bay leaf & pods. Salt & pepper to taste (white pepper is the fanciest).

Lagane e Ceci

From Lidia’s Kitchen (5:10)


  1. Soak chickpeas overnight
  2. Olive oil, crushed garlic, pancetta – fry. 
  3. Add chickpeas, 2 sprigs of rosemary, 2 bay leaves, and pepperonchino – fry for a couple minutes while stirring, 
  4. then add hot water. bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer.
  5. it should be only 45 minutes to an hour if the garbanzos are fresh


  • Salt
  • eggs
  • flour
  1. 1 egg for two people. Combine salt and egg, egg & water, egg & flour. Food process. When it collects to one side, it’s ready. Floured board, knead dough then let rest.
  2. Half the dough. Put half in the fridge & use within a week.
  3. Half again. Roll through the pasta machine 3x. Cut into large fat bite size ribbons – about half the size of glissons.

Putting it all together:

  1. Cook pasta, oil beans. Combine, add parsley and lots of pecorino.