First of all, thank you for supporting me and my humble blog! I love getting your feedback, so please continue to do so. Feel free to request recipes and ideas for easy simple dishes.
Second, can you believe that the first time I ever had black beans was sometime in my mid-twenties? It was in Benny Burrito restaurant in New York City. I don’t think we had ever even seen them until I moved to America. I don’t think we had black beans in Israel when I was a kid. I was a bit intimidated by them for a while because I thought that they were unnaturally black. That restaurants added squid ink or something to make them black. Once you go black there is no way back.
I found this recipe in an Israeli cookbook, written by two beautiful Israeli women, who are the owners of one of the best restaurants in Tel Aviv, Orna & Ella. If you visit Israel you must go there and have their sweet potato gnocchi and their apple Calvados cake. The food is insanely fresh, seasonal and delicious!
Cooking black beans is easy, but you must soak them overnight. You can use canned beans instead if it’s easier for you. If you cook them yourself, put them in a medium pot, fill the pot with water, 4 inches above the beans. Bring to a boil and remove the foam from the top. Add garlic, thyme, and bay leaf, and simmer until the beans are tender. Add the salt halfway through, not in the beginning. The salt slows down their softening.
Another great recipe you can make with black beans: Black bean Kibbeh
Black Bean Soup
- 2 cups of black beans, soaked over night
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 medium red or yellow onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 -3 sprigs fresh thyme or oregano
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder
- 2½ cups vegetable stock
- Olive oil for drizzling
- Sea salt (about 1½ teaspoons)
- Freshly ground pepper
- Chili flakes (optional)
- Lime wedges (optional)
- Green rice (optional, recipe below)
- Rinse the beans and put them into a soup pot filled with water (about 8 cups). Add the bay leaves and cook between 45–90 minutes, or until the beans are soft.
- Meanwhile, chop the onion, garlic, and oregano leaves. Put the olive oil in a sauce pan and turn the heat on medium. Add the onion, oregano, and spices and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.Add the sautéed onion, garlic, oregano, and spices into the beans with the vegetable stock and continue to cook until the beans are tender, almost falling apart, for about 20 minutes.
- While the soup is cooking, prepare the rice.
- Serve in a bowl with the green rice over it and a quick drizzle of olive oil, some salt if necessary, chili flakes, and lime.
Green Basmati Rice
- 1 cup basmati rice
- 1¼ cups water
- Handful cilantro or parsley or both (optional)
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- Bring the water and the salt to a rapid boil in a medium pot or a sauce pan.
- Meanwhile, put the rice in a fine colander and wash it under cold running water until the water runs clear. Another way is to soak it in cold water for a few minutes, then drain and soak it again, until the water is not white anymore.
- Stir the rice into the boiling water. Bring the water with rice to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover with a lid, wrapped in a clean kitchen towel (to absorb the water drops). Don’t lift the lid while the rice is cooking, so the steam won’t escape! After 12 minutes, take off the lid. If there is no more water in the pan and the rice is soft (but not too soft), it is done. Otherwise, put the lid back on and cook for another 2–3 minutes.
- Let the rice rest with the lid on for at least 5 minutes before you serve it.
- Add the herbs to the rice and mix with a fork. Correct seasoning if needed and serve with the soup.