Easy to Please

There are many, many reasons why I love making spicy black bean soup in my slow cooker. First, it makes my entire apartment smell like spices and deliciousness and when I come home from work (or running, or anywhere else) and it’s cooking away, I just get all excited. Second, I always have tons of left-overs, the majority of which goes into my freezer in plastic containers so that I can pull one out at a moment’s notice, heat it up, and have tasty homemade black bean soup.

But right now, at the start of the process of making the soup, I’m at another one of the reasons. When I put the dried black beans in a container and fill it up with water, I actually get a little giddy when a few hours later, almost all the water is gone (even though the beans were originally submerged by several inches of water) and there’s just a cascade of beans staring at me. Inevitably I add more water, some more of which will get absorbed. And tomorrow morning, when I dump the remaining water out, it’s going to be indigo colored and make me grin as it goes down the drain.

Easy to please, that’s me. (The recipe is after the jump at the bottom of the post.)

On an unrelated note, with the marathon in three weekends (my ankle feels much better today, by the way!), I’m trying to see how far ahead I can get with my reviews for Read About Comics. Now normally I’m writing a week ahead, so that this weekend I wrote reviews for November 10-14. For this weekend and the two remaining weekends before the trip up to Philly, though, I’m going to try and write one extra review that gets held in reserve. That way, when the marathon actually hits, I’ll be so far ahead that I can take a full week off from writing and there won’t be a blip on the schedule at all. We’ll see how that goes.

Spicy Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup

  • 1 pound dry black beans, soaked overnight and rinsed
  • 4 teaspoons diced jalapeno peppers
  • 6 cups broth (the original recipe said chicken, but I use vegetable)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

Combine everything in the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours. (Alternately, cook on high for 4 hours, then low for 2 hours, or until ready to eat.) I then prefer to take my immersion hand blender and puree it all; it forms a thick, creamy texture that will have people swearing you put cups of cream or whole milk into the recipe. Sooo tasty. Sometimes I put a little dallop of fat free sour cream on top, or stir in some oyster crackers, but it’s just as good without either.

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