"What are you making?" Anne asked.
I looked up from the cutting board, and put the knife down so I wouldn't somehow cut my hand off when I wasn't looking (yes, I am that clumsy). "Black bean soup," I said.
"Is it from a recipe, or are you winging it?"
"I've made so many different recipes from so many different places, I just looked through the pantry and refrigerator and wung it."
We looked at each other. "Wung it?" I said. "I think I mean I am winging it What's the past-tense of winging it? Wang it? Winged it?"
"I don't know, but it's not 'wung it,'" she said. I couldn't argue with her.
"Anyway, it's fun to feel confident enough in my limited cooking skills to pull together some ingredients and combine them in a way that seems to make sense, based on my previous experiences."
She nodded, and left me to my work.
That was about an hour ago. I'm currently sitting here, eating an absolutely delightful bowl of soup, that's a little sweet and spicy. I'm so proud of myself, I could fart a rainbow (and I probably will in a little while.)
Because I did this on my own, I think I can share the recipe without breaking any rules or stepping on any actual chef's toes, so here you go:
SOUP. BLACK BEAN. HOT.
1 can black beans
3 tomatoes (I used Romas)
2-3 cloves garlic
1 small yellow onion
1 chipotle chili (you can get these in the Hispanic foods section at the store for next to nothing and they make all sorts of recipes kick ass.)
1 Teaspoon dried oregano or 2 teaspoons fresh, chopped
1/2 Teaspoon cumin
2 Tablespoons olive oil.
Juice of one lime.
Salt and pepper.
Chop the onion and mince the garlic.
Heat the olive oil in a 3qt soup pot or similar-sized saucepan over medium high heat for a minute or so.
Sautee the onion until translucent, about 4 or 5 minutes. While it cooks, chop up the tomatoes into small chunks and chop the oregano if you're using fresh. When the onions are translucent, Add the garlic and cumin, stir it all around, and continue to sautee for about another 2 minutes. Be careful not to let the garlic burn.
Shake up the can of black beans, open it, and pour it all into the soup pot. Stir, and then add the tomatoes and oregano.
Chop up the chipotle chili (you can use more if you want, but be careful not to use too many or all you'll taste is the spiciness, and that's not fun.) Stir again, and then add the chopped chipotle.
Add the lime juice (if you're hardcore, just juice that little green bastard right over the simmering pot, and say some Bond Villain stuff about how you expect it to die.)
Add about 1/3 cup of water (more or less, just don't let it get too watery or too thick) and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 10 or 15 minutes, until the beans are tender.
Add salt and pepper to taste. You can serve it with plan yogurt or sour cream to cut the spiciness if you want.
This recipe made enough to feed me and Anne, though I'm sure it could easily be doubled for more people.