Black Bean Soup and One Hour Whole Wheat Baguette

Yesterday I made black bean soup–which we ate too quickly for me to photograph!–and I decided at the last minute we needed some fresh bread to go with it. It was late afternoon, and far too late to make a traditional loaf of bread, so I searched for a few recipes and devised my own. It’s not technically a baguette, but it makes a slightly sweet and tender loaf that is perfect for sopping up soup or just eating with a slathering of butter. If you have any left it makes wonderful toast in the morning.

We ate ours with my thick and savory black bean soup. I like black bean soup because it’s fast and I almost always have the ingredients in my pantry and refrigerator. Black beans are so healthy too, and this soup is a great way to eat a lot of veggies, especially the dodgy carrots going limp in the bottom of your fridge. I hope I’m not the only one who always has a few of those! After following countless recipes that resulted in watery and flavorless soup, I think I have perfected my own recipe.

One Hour Whole Wheat Baguette

3/4 cup warm water
1 packet active dry yeast
1 Tbsp honey
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp salt

In the bowl of a stand mixer combine warm water, honey, and yeast. Let sit until foamy, about 5-10 minutes.

Add flour and salt to bowl and knead with a dough hook until smooth and slightly sticky, about 15 minutes. You can also knead by hand, but I always use my mixer so I can make dinner while it kneads.

Turn the dough out onto a board or other surface and shape into a cylinder about 16″ long. Place on a baking sheet. Slash with a sharp knife, cover with a towel, and let rise for about 20 minutes. Heat oven to 450 degrees.

When you come back to it the loaf will be beautifully puffed and fragrant. Place in heated oven for about 20 minutes. The underside of the loaf should sound hollow when you rap it with your knuckle.

Let cool for a few minutes, slice, and devour.

Black Bean Soup

1 yellow onion, whatever size you have, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
(Bell pepper, zucchini, spinach or other greens, also work well here. Add greens at the end.)
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp sea salt
2 cans of black beans, drained and rinsed, or 3 cups cooked. I can never get it together to cook beans ahead of time so I use Goya brand canned!
1 can of Ro-Tel tomatoes, or 1 chopped fresh tomato and 1 minced jalapeño
About 2 cups water or broth
Toppings, such as sour cream, grated cheese, or avocado.

Sauté onion, garlic, carrots, celery, and any other hard vegetables in about a tablespoon of olive oil until the onions are translucent and the vegetables are beginning to soften.

Add salt and chili powder, and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add beans and tomatoes and stir again. Cook until the tomatoes are softened and some of their juice has cooked off. Add water or broth, just enough to cover the beans, and bring to a boil. Once the mixture is boiling lower your heat, cover, and let cook for about 20 minutes. This recipe is very forgiving. I usually do the dishes, feed the baby, or whatever else needs doing while it cooks. You can check on it if you think of it, and add a bit more water if needed. If you’re adding greens add them toward the end.

Once the soup is cooked purée with an immersion blender until the soup is as smooth or chunky as you like it. Serve topped with sour cream or avocado, or cheese if you prefer.

Not the most inspiring looking loaf, but it is delicious!