When I found out that I would be reviewing Emilie’s cookbook “A Clever Cookbook“, which is now available on Amazon, I was beyond elated!
I don’t remember how I found Emilie’s blog, “A Clever Carrot” so many moons ago, but I instantly became a fan. So much of a fan, that I ventured off to the world of Instagram to see if she had an account on there, and to my surprise she did!
The thing is, for some reason, the type of dishes that Emilie creates, reminds me of myself, or at least the type of things that I like to create and enjoy eating on the norm. So when I started flipping through the pages of her beautifully photographed and written cookbook, there presented the problem. Yes problem, because I thought to myself, what in the woooorld do I want to cook first?!?
And did I mentioned that Emilie was a finalist in the Saveur Blog Awards for 2015? Yep, for best photography, and rightfully so because her imagery is beautiful!!
Anyway, after being so torn on what to cook first, I decided to cook and share with you all, Emilie’s recipe for her Favorite Black Bean Soup. And goodness is it good! I will also include the recipe for her Mexican Spice Blend that is needed for the flavorful soup as well.
Emilie’s Mexican Spice Blend (makes 1/2 cup)
GLUTEN-FREE – VEGETARlAN – VEGAN
This blend is sightly spicy, not too salty and perfectly zesty for Mexican and Tex-Mex recipes.
2 tsp (6 g) Coarse Salt
2 tsp (4 g) Cumin
Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
2 tbsp (15 g) Chili Powder
1 tbsp (7 g) Sweet Smoked Paprika
1 tbsp (8 g) Garlic Powder
1 tbsp (7 g) Onion Powder
1 tbsp (3 g) Dried Oregano
Add all of the ingredients to a small mixing bowl. Whisk thoroughly to combine. Store in an airtight container or mason jar, label and date. It will last 6 months to 1 year stored in a cool, dry place.
TIP: If you have time, lightly toast any “vintage” spices in a dry pan to revitalize their flavors. It will only take a minute or two.
Emilie’s Favorite Black Bean Soup
Serves 4 – 6
2 tbsp. (30 ml) Olive Oil
1 cup (150 g) Diced Onions
1/2 cup (65 g) Diced Carrots
1/2 cup (50 g) Diced Celery
1 Clove of Garlic, Grated
1 tbsp. (8 g) Mexican Spice Blend
1/2 tsp Cumin
6 cups (1 kg) cooked Black Beans, Rinsed and Drained
(or substitute with four 15-ounce (425 – g) cans of beans)
4 cups of (1L) Triple-Duty Chicken Stock, plus more as needed
(I substituted with Vegetable Stock to make this Vegetarian and Vegan Friendly)
1 cup (150 g) Cherry Tomatoes, Halved
1/4 cup (15 g) Roughly Chopped Cilantro or Parsley
Coarse Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 Juicy Lime, cut into wedges
Handful of Cilantro or Parsley Leaves
In a large heavy-bottom pot, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the
onions. carrots and celery until soft. about 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic. Mexican Spice Blend and cumin, and stir until fragrant. 30 seconds. It will smell delicious.
Add the black beans and chicken stock (I used Vegetable stock). Bring the soup to a gentle boil and reduce the heat to low. Simmer uncovered for about 20-30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
Meanwhile. slice your cherry tomatoes in half. Add them to the pot during the last 10 minutes of cooking to hold their shape.
Puree a small portion of the soup, mostly beans, to give the soup a creamy texture. Use a handheld stick blender if you have one, or do this in your food processor blender. My preference is to puree about one-third of the soup, for a rustic-style texture.
Stir in your chopped cilantro (or parsley). Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Ladle your soup into bowls and top with pickled jalapenos. Drizzle a spoonful of juice from the jar over your soup for extra flavor. Top with lime wedges and cilantro (or parsley) leaves.
Now, to be entered in for a chance to win a copy of Emilie’s cookbook, “The Clever Cookbook” (open to US residents only), comment below telling me one of your favorite cookbooks of all time and why. One winner will be selected randomly on February 25.
Good luck everyone and thanks for visiting! I certainly hope you enjoy this recipe/cookbook as much as I do. If you decide to make this dish or any others from her awesome cookbook, post them via Instagram… and remember to tag it #theclevercookbook , so Emilie and I can see your beautiful creations!