During my first job out of college this time of year would always be a busy one because this is, after all, the height of soup season. I had to drive to the client site twice a week, and while the commute was a rough one (I’d leave at 6:00 in order to get there by 8:15 in order to get a spot in the good parking lot), there were a few perks, from being able to get everything from discounted cookies and crackers to the “seconds” of a certain brand of chocolate truffles by the 2.5 lb bag in the company store or the tomato soup bar in the subsidized cafeteria. While I would otherwise bring the rest of my lunch, I’d beebop over to the cafeteria every day, regardless of the weather, and treat myself to some tomato soup topped with salsa (they owned a brand of that too, of course) and cheddar cheese.
It was probably for the best that I had all of that sodium at a relatively young age when I could handle that, rather than now.
Most of the soups we make these days are versions of gazpacho, since Michael isn’t the biggest fan of only having soup for dinner, but the pressure cooker has opened his mind to reconsider that at least during the week, whether as pho or this black bean soup. Being able to cook dried black beans in under an hour is a pretty delightful thing, and the resulting soup, if not the most photogenic food out there, is satisfying and delicious and strikes a nice balance between the sausage, mushrooms, and beans. The Greek yogurt scented with cumin and lime zest adds just the right amount of creamy body to the dish, but you could also use the proscribed sour cream instead. (I bet creme fraiche would be delicious too.) Much like the pho, I will typically make this over the weekend so it’s packed and ready to be reheated the night I need it, and while it reheats I make a simple salad and mix up the yogurt topping so that I can taste freshly ground cumin and zested lime.
Speaking of gazpacho, I have a pretty awesome one waiting in the wings to share with you but I want to spread out the soup love a little bit.
Black Bean Soup with Cumin and Lime-Scented Yogurt
Slightly adapted from Serious Eats
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oi1 mel
- dium sweet onion, diced
- 2 medium stalks celery, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 3/4 lb cremini mushrooms, quartered
- 3/4 lb andouille sausage, sliced into half-moons
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 1 lb dried black beans, sorted for stones
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 6oz container whole Greek yogurt
- Zest of one lime
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
In a pressure cooker, heat the oil over medium-high to high (depending on model) until shimmering, and add the onion, celery, and garlic and cook until lightly browned, about five minutes (stir occasionally while doing so). Add the mushrooms and cook for another 6 minutes. Add the sausage and cook for another 4 minutes. stirring frequently.
Add the chicken stock, thyme, bay leaf, and beans, and make sure the stock covers the beans by 2 inches; if needed, add water to hit this level and then season with salt. Close the pressure cooker, set it to high pressure, and set the timer for 45 minutes.
While waiting, mix the zest, cumin, a pinch of salt and ground pepper into the Greek yogurt and stir well and set aside. When the timer goes off, use the quick release valve and release pressure; when finished, remove the thyme and bay leaf, stir the soup, and season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve immediately with dollops of the yogurt; alternatively, bring to room temperature and place into storage containers and chill for a few days before heating up and serving with the yogurt.