We grilled up a lot of mushrooms and red peppers the other night. And it’s been so nice and cool lately, that my thoughts turned to soup. I combined the grilled vegetables with black beans, herbs and a little smoked paprika, and made a smooth, tasty soup. Very easy, very quick. If you don’t have leftover grilled vegetables, you could easily roast the mushrooms and peppers in the oven. I marinated the mushrooms in a little balsamic and herbs, but all of those things are in the soup as well. One of the drawbacks to black bean soup, to me, has always been that it’s a little dull in color. I added a small amount of olive oil steeped with annato seeds, and it brightened the whole thing up.
I bought black barley at the whole foods last week, and I’ve been so excited about cooking with it! David suggested black barley & black bean soup, and the second he said it, I could just taste it! It would be dark and savory and smoky. Meaty almost. It would be simple – just the beans and the barley, but it would have a lot of flavor. Rosemary, sage, smoked paprika, a little tamari… a nice dark rich broth.
I’m not sure how the barley-bread bee got into my bonnet. I wanted to make a dark, dense crunchy bread. With nuts and whole grains and a crispy crust. I think it turned out that way! It’s got toasted walnuts and toasted oats, both roughly ground. It’s got whole wheat flour and black pepper. And it’s got toasted barley flour, which has a lovely, distinctive, sweetly nutty flavor. I made a long, thin loaf, for maximum crust, and I bent it into a “C” shape, because I wanted to bake my initials. Nah, really, I wanted to fit it onto my baking sheet. It was very very nice with the soup, and good sliced thinly and toasted with cinnamon sugar as well.
This is basically a two-can soup (can of beans/can of tomatoes), but it’s got a deep rich flavor, and a lovely, deeply richly colored broth (black bean soups can be so drab-looking sometimes, but this has a warm mahogany hue). Simply made, but complexly flavored.
Here’s JJ Allstar’s Soup. I found a surprising number of songs about soup. Can you think of any that you like?