Recipe: Black bean and chorizo soup with cumin toasts and salsa verde

Total time: 2 hours, 20 minutes

Servings: 6 to 8

Salsa verde

1 jalapeño, minced (remove the seeds and center for a milder flavor)

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 packed cup Italian parsley

2 packed cups cilantro

1/4 cup olive oil

1. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the jalapeño, lemon juice and zest, garlic, salt, parsley and cilantro until finely chopped. Remove to a small bowl; add the olive oil and mix until combined. Cover and refrigerate until needed. This makes a generous cup of salsa and will keep, refrigerated, for up to 5 days.

Cumin toasts

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

8 slices country white bread

1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, salt and cumin. Brush the sliced bread with the oil and toast until golden brown on one side, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

Black bean soup and assembly

1 1/2 cups chopped Spanish chorizo, about 6 ounces

1 1/2 cups chopped onion, about 1 onion

1 1/2 cups peeled and chopped carrots, about 2 carrots

1/2 cup olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound dried black beans, about 2 1/2 cups

6 cups water

2 fresh bay leaves

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. In a large (3 1/2 quart) Dutch oven or soup pot heated over medium heat, cook the chorizo, onion and carrots in the olive oil until soft, 8 to 10 minutes.

2. Add the garlic and cook until aromatic, about 1 minute. Stir in the beans, water and bay leaves and bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce the soup to a bare simmer over low heat, cover and cook until the beans are tender, about 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Stir in the salt, cumin, cayenne and black pepper after the first hour of cooking.

3. When the beans are soft, puree one cup of the soup in a blender or food processor, then add back to the pot. This makes about 8 cups soup. Serve the soup with a dollop of salsa verde and the cumin toasts. The soup will keep, refrigerated, for 5 days.

Each of 8 servings: 537 calories; 20 grams protein; 49 grams carbohydrates; 14 grams fiber; 30 grams fat; 6 grams saturated fat; 19 mg. cholesterol; 728 mg. sodium.

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