Dealing with a small electrial fire, electrians, and finding a new place to live really caught me off guard and into the waiting arms of a big bad sickness. I hate being sick and having this flu was the absolute worst. I was achy and sore all over — even my eyeballs hurt! — so looking at a computer screen was pretty much out of the question. I slept almost all the time, my hacking cough could raise the dead, and not once did I think about food or eating. Did you hear what I said? Food just wasn’t an issue for me for almost an entire week which has never happened to me before. Me, I’m always planning out meals or dreaming up some fantastic sounding dessert or browsing recipes for ideas. Food and what I’m going to be putting into my mouth is always a constant. But being sick was a total mind fuck. Now I realize why Cornelius is so thin and how he can forget to eat meals and how he doesn’t really care what’s for dinner. This is how the other half lives! All week I’ve survived on lemon and ginger tea, grapefruit halves and canned soup. I’m alive, I’m recovering, and I almost feel like myself again. I’m still not thinking about food very much or what I’ll eat for dinner, but I know that there is no doubt I’ll be returning to my old self very soon.
In the meantime, I’ll post a recipe I wanted to write about before all of this happened. This black bean soup is good for what ails you and it’s great even if you’re in tip-top health. It’s super fast to make using canned beans and fresh prepared salsa and only a little bit of chopping to keep you busy. When I served it for dinner one night, Cornelius said that next time I should make a big batch and keep it in the freezer so there’s always some available. And coming from someone who isn’t crazy about soup, it’s high praise indeed.
This soup would work well for vegetarians, leaving out the ham and subbing in vegetable stock, but I’m sure it would be even more wonderful with some crumbled chorizo sausage instead of the ham. Hmmm, something to think about when I’m actually thinking about food again!
black bean soup with ham
2 cans black beans, drained
1 t olive oil
1 onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1/4 t chipotle powder
4 slices of thinly sliced ham (I used black forest)
1 large tub (500 ml) of your favorite fresh salsa
4-5 c chicken stock
1/2 c frozen corn
juice of 1 lime
1 avocado, sliced
sour cream (optional)
1. Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a large pot. Add in onion and garlic and saute for a few minutes until translucent. Add in red pepper, ham and chipotle powder and stir until combined. Add beans, salsa and cover with chicken stock. Cover pot and cook over medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes.
2. Turn down the heat to a low simmer. Use a potato masher and mash up the beans until the soup thickens. Add in corn, hot sauce and the lime juice and give everything a good stir. Simmer for a few additional minutes until everything is heated through. Serve in bowls with slices of avocado and a dollop of sour cream.