Black Bean and Shrimp Soup

The Artic Winter air has finally arrived and it is cold. Days like these call for some hearty warm soup. On a recent visit to Borders I chanced upon a cook book titled “Soups and Breads” and the book was priced at 3 dollars and the pictures were irrestible which alone was well worth the price. There are several easy and mouth watering recipes but the one I wanted to try was the Cuban Black Bean Soup. Few ingredients but a filling meal by itself. The recipe called for Bacon bones which I omitted and substituted with Shrimp but it can be left out too.

Recipe Adapted From: Kitchen Library Soups and Breads

Ingredients
1. 1 1/2 Cups of Black Turtle Beans soaked overnight and cooked till soft in a pressure cooker with just enough water.
2. 8-12 Medium sized Shrimp washed and marinate in turmeric,salt,red chilly powder and a bit of lime juice
3. 1/2 Red Onion sliced thin
4. 1 bunch scallions chopped
5. 3 garlic cloves crushed and chopped
6. 1 1/2 ” ginger piece julienned
7. 2 tsp corriander powder
8. 1 tsp cumin powder
9. 1 tbsp Red chilly powder(adjust to taste)
10. 1/2 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
11. 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
12. 1 cup of shredded cheese
13. 1/2 cup corriander leaves chopped
14. 2 tomatoes chopped fine. (optional)
15. 1 tbsp oil (or oil + ghee)

Method
1. In a stock pot (heavy bottomed) add half the oil and when it is hot, add the shrimp and fry them a little bit. When they start to change color remove from pot and set aside
2. Add the remaining oil to the pot and add the onions and fry till translucent.
3. Add the garlic, most of scallion(preserve some for garnish) and ginger and saute till soft.
4. Now add the corriander, cumin and chilly powders and mix well.
5. Add the tomatoes and cook till they are mushy.
6. Add a cup of water and let them come to a boil.
7. Now add the cooked beans cover the lid partially and let simmer for 10 minutes
8. Add the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar and corriander leaves and cook for a few more minutes.
9. Add the shrimp and after a minute or two turn of the heat.

Serve hot with shredded cheese and scallion sprinkled on top and some warm croissants.

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