After the torrential rains in the Front Range last week and weekend, folks in affected areas are only now able to gauge the damage and loss brought on by high waters in our drought-ridden region. I’ve lived through numerous hurricanes, flash floods, and my share of tornados, but I was still shocked at the level to which many towns and cities were destroyed by floods.
Several roads into foothill and mountain towns may not be rebuilt for months, leaving flood victims without access to their homes, jobs, and any sense of normalcy. My heart is especially with the families who lost loved ones during this devastating flood. One story, in particular, choked me up at work yesterday.
If you want to help but don’t know where to start, please consider donating to one of the many on-the-ground organizations that are working tirelessly in these wrecked communities. Colorado’s Secretary of State’s website offers helpful tips on how to locate reputable charities to help ensure your money is actually helping the folks you aim to help, and they’ve linked to Help Colorado Now’s website, which includes numerous approved charities to help you connect with approved local charities. Even a small donation can make a difference in a flood victim’s quality of life, offering him or her warm food and shelter during one of the most difficult times he or she may have faced.
Today’s post features one of many ways you can put that Wednesday’s southwestern-flavored relish to use in a meal. Below you’ll find yet another fabulous Longevity Kitchen recipe meant to nourish your body while tickling your taste buds.
In a quest to master more soup recipes this year (I live in a climate where soup is a salve during the many cold fall, winter, and early spring months), I’ve set out to try new soups at least twice a month. This brothy soup is not only good for you (not an animal product in sight on the ingredients list), but the spice combination affords a depth of flavor only improved when you add a spoonful of that ancho chile relish.
Share a bowl of this soup with a loved one, and if you have the resources, please donate to any one of the many local charities who are helping Coloradans rebuild their lives after last week’s harrowing floods.
Costa Rican Black Bean Soup with Sweet Potato (adapted from a Longevity Kitchen recipe)
Makes 8 servings
2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups diced yellow onions
1 1/2 tsp seeded and finely diced jalepeño chile
1 TBS minced garlic
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of cayenne
8 cups vegetable broth
2 14.5-oz cans of cooked blacked beans, rinsed, with a dash of salt and spritz of lemon juice
2 cups finely diced orange-fleshed sweet potato, such as garnet yams
2 tsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
Ancho Chile Relish, for garnish
1. Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions and a pinch of salt and sauté until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the jalepeño, garlic, oregano, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, and 1/4 tsp of salt and sauté for 1 minute. Then, add the cooked black beans, and sauté for another minute.
2. Pour in 1/2 cup of the broth to deglaze the pot, stirring to loosen any bits stuck to the pot. Cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Add the remaining 7 1/2 cups broth. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to medium-low, partially cover, and simmer briskly (bubbles should break the surface regularly).
3. After simmering for 15 minutes, stir in the sweet potato and 1/4 tsp salt. Now, cover and simmer until the sweet potato is just tender, about 7 minutes.
4. Ladle 2 cups of the beans and sweet potatoes into a blender and process until velvety smooth. Stir the blended mixture back into the soup, and cook until just heated through. Stir in the lime juice; you may want to add another 1/4 tsp salt and another spritz of lime juice.
5. Serve garnished with the cilantro and a dollop of the Ancho Chile Relish.