Sometimes ideas just come to me. I call it being inspired, but people of my parents’ generation called it being “touched in the head.” I was sitting here at my desk one day thinking how much I like salsa with pineapple in it (because that’s the kind of deep thinking I do), when it occurred to me that what’s good in salsa should be good in soup. Black bean soup. So I tried it. And you know what? I was right.
If you balk at having fruit in your soup, let me tell you that there was a time when I couldn’t imagine something sweet ever touching my savory. But that was before I opened my palate to the sensations of pineapple mingling with peanuts and kale or cumin-grilled tofu heaped with papaya salsa. Now I’m a believer. But even if you absolutely know that you don’t like fruit in your main dish, give this one a try. The pineapple lends such a subtly sweet flavor that my family didn’t even notice it until I pointed it out. But by then, they’d both finished two bowls, even daughter E, who doesn’t like black beans.
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 to 2 jalapeno chiles, stemmed, seeded and finely diced
- 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted
- 2 16-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups vegetable broth (or water plus bouillon cubes)
- 1 tablespoon Ancho chili powder (or other pure, mild chili powder)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder (or to taste)
- 2 teaspoons Mexican oregano (optional)
- generous grating black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 1 pound yellow squash or zucchini
- 1 cup crushed pineapple and juice
- Heat a non-stick pot and spray with cooking spray if desired. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until golden and beginning to brown (a pinch of baking soda will speed up this process). Add the bell pepper and jalapeno and cook until softened, about two minutes. Add the garlic, stir briefly, and then add tomatoes, beans, broth, and seasonings (but not squash or pineapple). Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
- While the beans are cooking, trim the squash and cut into small cubes.
- Add the squash and pineapple, increase the heat a little, and cover. Simmer until squash is just tender. Check seasonings, adding more to taste, and serve.
Hey, There’s Sweet in This Savory:
- Grilled Tofu with Blueberry-Peach Salsa
- Wild Plum Sauce
- Vidalia Onions Stuffed with Rice-Lentil Pilaf
- Vegetable Couscous
- Cinnamon-Scented Pearl Couscous from One Hot Stove
- Curried Rice and Fruit Salad with Fresh Mango Dressing from Lisa’s Kitchen
- Quinoa with Cauliflower, Cranberries, and Pine Nuts from VegKitchen with Nava Atlas