Black Bean with Pesto

Adapted from Vegetarian Times March 2003

SERVES 4

Black Bean Soup 

• 1 1/2 cups dried black beans, picked over and rinsed 

• 12 cups water

• 1 large onion, diced

• 6 cloves garlic, minced

• Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

• 8 large basil leaves, julienned for garnish

Basil Purée 

• 1/3 cup olive oil

• 4 large cloves garlic 

• 1 1/2 cups (about 11/2 oz.) fresh basil leaves

• Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

How to make the soup 

• To prepare beans, place them in a large stockpot, and add enough water to cover by 2 inches. Cover pot, and set aside at room temperature to soak overnight. 

• Drain beans, and return to pot. Cover with 12 cups water. Add onion and garlic, and bring to a boil, skimming off any foam. Reduce heat to low, and cook until beans are very tender, for about 21/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add water, if needed, or boil soup down until thickened but not dried out. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
 

• To make purée, place oil, garlic, and basil in blender. Process until smooth, pulsing on and off and stopping to scrape down sides of the container. Season with salt and pepper. 

• To serve, bring soup to a boil. Season vegetables with salt and pepper. Stir the basil purée into soup.  Ladle into four soup plates. 

garnish with julienned basil.

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