I had gumbo with chicken and Andouille sausage for dinner tonight, followed by hot chocolate and beignets – yep, I’m in New Orleans! I’m here for a scientific conference and walked around the city tonight for a couple hours after my talk this afternoon. I was stressed about the talk (which thankfully, went really well!), so it great to finally blow off some steam!
There’s a music festival in the French Quarter this weekend with over 150 bands playing on 17 different stages, so it was really fun people watching – everyone was dancing and chowing down on food and drinks from the various vendors. I still have “When the Saints Go Marching In” stuck in my head! I had a bowl of gumbo, and then went back and got another because it was so good. I know, I know, I should have sampled something different, but I just couldn’t help myself! I’ll have to check out some other New Orleans’ favorites tomorrow. I’m already looking forward to the extra beignets I snagged for breakfast tomorrow.
After having all that delicious gumbo, I was inspired to post one of my favorite soup recipes. Black bean soup is so flavorful and healthy. It’s definitely not the most beautiful meal out there, but it’s a tasty one pot meal that involves minimal clean up!
Spicy Black Bean Soup with Turkey Bacon
8 slices turkey bacon
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 carrots, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups chicken stock
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Cook turkey bacon, 4 pieces at a time, in a large stockpot over medium heat. Remove cooked bacon and crumble. Add olive oil to the same pan the bacon was cooked in and sauté carrots and onions until soft. Add garlic and sauté one additional minute. Add chicken stock, black beans, cumin, salt, crushed red pepper flakes, and bacon, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and let simmer for 20 minutes. Use an immersion blender and puree to desired smoothness (I like to leave mine a tad chunky!). Mix red wine vinegar and corn starch in a small dish, and add to the soup. Simmer another 5 minutes or until desired thickness is reached. Makes 6 servings.
Nutrition: 344 calories, 9.7g fat, 11.6g fiber, 20.0g protein per serving
Cost: $0.69 per serving