You didn’t make a grocery run because you thought today’s snow would be a non-event? (Let’s face it – a lot of them are.)
Time to hit the cabinet and see what you’ve got on hand. Here’s an easy recipe I came up with one night when I came in from a long road trip and not much fresh in my refrigerator. I always keep canned beans and canned coconut milk on hand because there’s always something you can do with them. I also usually have chicken sausage links in the freezer.
It’s adaptable, though: You could swap out the sausage for ground beef or cooked chicken, or skip meat and go vegetarian. You can alter any of the seasonings to meet your own taste.
Black Bean and Coconut Milk Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 or 1 whole diced onion
2 cloves garlic, peeled and diced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 or 2 links of Italian sausage, sliced, or 1 cup diced, cooked chicken (optional)
2 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15-ounce) can coconut milk, preferably light
1 1/2 to 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth (canned or frozen)
1 tablespoon Asian hot sauce, such as sriracha
1 tablespoon peanut butter
2 tablespoons minced cilantro, lime juice and/or sour cream (optional)
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, reduce heat to medium-low, and cover. Cook 5 to 10 minutes, until softened. Stir in the garlic and and cumin and cook 1 to 2 minutes, until fragrant. If you're using meat, add it, raise the heat to medium-high and saute until just cooked through or reheated.
Stir in the black beans, coconut milk and broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 10 to 15 minutes. If you want a creamier soup, scoop half the beans into a blender and puree (cover the lid with a kitchen towel so it doesn't splash) or use an immersion blender to puree some of the soup. Or skip all that and leave the beans whole. Stir in the hot sauce and peanut butter and cook a few minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Serve garnished with cilantro, a little sour cream or a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
Yield: About 4 servings.