Black Bean Soup with Spicy Avocado Salsa and White Rice

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Beautiful large plum tomatoes should be chosen for your salsa.
Beautiful large plum tomatoes should be chosen for your salsa.

 

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This is the avocado salsa ready to serve. It is very easy to make and some work preparing the vegetables, but it is so delicious that it is worth every inch you dice and chop.

A few years ago I had dinner with my friend playwright Douglas Carter Beane at Rosa Mexicano in Union Square, and one thing I could never forget about that experience–besides being able to be with a friend who has written so many fascinating Broadway shows and Hollywood big hits–was a dish I thought was a slightly different guacamole. I actually loved the fact that the avocado wasn’t smashed, it was actually cubed, with jalapeno, which made it just as spicy as I like. Naturally, this was the the avocado salsa, which I didn’t know at the time. Now here is this fascinating recipe I am sharing with you.

INGREDIENTS

For the beans, and avocado salsa:

1 lb black beans, rinsed

7 cups hot water

1 small onion, coarsely chopped

6 cloves garlic, minced

5 ounces Spanish chorizo, diced

1 tablespoon hot chili pepper powder

2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves

2 teaspoons cumin seeds

2 bay leaves

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

For the avocado salsa:

1 large ripe avocado, diced

3 large plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped

approximately 3 tablespoons lime juice (from 1/2 lime)

1/2 red onion, chopped

1 jalapeno, seeded and diced

1 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup chopped cilantro (substitute: parsley)

Chopped parsley for the salsa. Commonly cilantro is used, except if one of your guests prefers parsley instead.
Chopped parsley for the salsa. Commonly cilantro is used, except if one of your guests prefers parsley instead.

HOW TO MAKE IT

In a large pressure cooker, heat oil. Add onions, oregano, chili powder and cumin. Stir frequently from one to two minutes on medium high heat, until onions soften. Add water and remaining ingredients, lock in lid, and when the pressure starts, reduce the heat to low, as long as steam keeps coming out, on high pressure.

While the beans are cooking, prepare the salsa. Cut, dice, chop, seed, squeeze! Put all ingredients in a bowl and toss well. Making the salsa is easy, but it’s also a lot of work. Served on top of the beans at room temperature. It refrigerates well for at least two days, before the avocado turns brown.

Back to the beans, 30 minutes later, turn off heat and wait about 15 minutes to be able to remove the lid. If there’s till some extra liquid, you can simmer it for a few minutes for desired thickness.

Chop the jalapeno finely for the best result.
Chop the jalapeno finely for the best result.

BRAZILIAN WHITE RICE

I find white rice to be the perfect food to eat with this dish. This is a recipe I learned from a Brazilian website, which is the most common way to make white rice in a very safe way–follow these steps and you can’t possibly get it wrong!

INGREDIENTS

1 cup basmati rice

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

2 cups water, boiling

1 teaspoon salt.

HOW TO MAKE IT

Heat oil in a thick pot over medium heat, add onions and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for one minute, then add rice and stir frequently for 4 minutes. Add hot water and salt, cover and cook for 8 minutes. Lower heat and let it cook for 6 more minutes until rice is dry. Fluff with a fork and it’s ready to serve.

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