Few things make me happier than food. It is the best. All kinds of food - simple and complex, restaurant and domestic, familiar and alien. This weekend I went home home and got to go to my all time favourite restaurant. The West House. I had a lovely dinner at Heston's Dinner last year but the West House wins it for me. Wonderful food, relaxed atmosphere, rural location. My slow cooked Jacob's ladder of beef (possibly short ribs in American?) with beetroot ketchup was delightful. It was like cutting through warm butter and such deep flavour... Mmm. And the iced peanut parfait with rich caramel, a crisp chocolate shell and dark chocolate sorbet! Mega yumz.
At the same time, the soup I made this weekend, also super delicious. Pretty much the food opposite of a smart three course restaurant meal but still perfect. This black bean chipotle soup was so good. Everything you could possibly want in a soup. Hearty, healthy, packed with flavour and interest. It was based on this recipe and I completely recommend it. Chipotle is the best. And black beans. They're the best too.
- 1 cup of dried black beans
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 red pepper, roughly diced
- 1 tsp chipotle paste
- 2 tsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 can chopped tomatoes
- 600ml stock
- 1/3 cup basmati rice
- 1 tsp cocoa
- Juice of 1/2 an orange
- Large quantities of mashed avocado, sour cream and cheddar to serve
- Cook your black beans - I normally skip soaking them for 24 hours and just boil the bejesus out of them for about 90 mins until they're soft. Is that bad?
- Sweat your onion and garlic in olive oil over a medium heat until translucent.
- Add the red pepper and cook for a few minutes to soften. Stir in the chipotle paste, vinegar, paprika, oregano and salt.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and stir well. Add the black beans and stock and bring to the boil.
- Add the rice and cook for 15-20 mins, until it is soft.
- Stir through the cocoa and orange juice.
- Serve with enormous dollops of roughly mashed avocado, sour cream and piles of cheddar. This is a whole delicious meal of deliciousness. There is protein, vegetable, carbs, dairy, spice. Revel in it.
All the food, all the different ways. All the happiness.