I think I’ve firmly established what a soup lover I am, but just in case… here’s another soup recipe! This one’s a little unusual, but still delicious and easy to make. It has a hint of spiciness, but is still mild enough for the kids. Or in my case, kid. Abby wanted nothing to do with it, but Lizzy eagerly slurped up every spoonful. One thing everybody could get behind, though, were the little bites of cheesy heaven known as pão de queijo! They’re cheesy rolls made with tapioca flour, and pretty much just melt in your mouth. Yum!
Black Bean Soup
Our Best Bites
1 T olive oil
4 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped
3/4 C diced carrots (about 2 med carrots)
3/4 C diced celery (about 2 ribs)
1 C diced onion (about 1 sm-med onion)
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 3.5oz can green chilies
2 cans low-sodium beef broth (I used chicken broth instead)
1 t kosher salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/2 t chili powder
1/4 t cumin
1/2 t dry oregano leaves
1 bay leaf
Optional Toppings: sour cream, tortilla chips, grated cheese, chopped cilantro, etc.
Place a large stock pot on the stove-top and set to medium-high heat. When pan is warm, add olive oil. Add carrots, celery, onion, and garlic and saute 4-5 minutes. Add in the black beans, chilies, and beef broth. Stir to combine and then add the salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and bay leaf. Simmer uncovered for about 20-25 minutes or until carrots are tender. Remove from heat. Remove bay leaf from soup. Place soup in a blender. (You could use an immersion blender in place of this step) Place lid on blender, but remove the stopper in the lid to let heat escape. Place a paper towel over the hole to avoid splatters. Puree soup until completely smooth. Optionally you could pulse until a semi-chunky soup is achieved. Squeeze in the juice from one lime and pulse to combine. Ladle into bowls and top with desired toppings. Serve with extra lime wedges.
Pão de Queijo
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups (10 ounces) tapioca flour or sour cassava flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill Brand)
1 – 1 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese (I used cheddar instead, because I was out)
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a baking pan with parchment and set aside. Combine the milk, oil, and salt in the saucepan, and whisking occasionally, bring it to a gentle boil over medium heat. Remove from heat as soon as you see big bubbles coming through the milk. Add all of the tapioca flour to the saucepan and stir until you see no more dry tapioca flour. The dough will be grainy and gelatinous at this point.
Transfer the dough to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat the dough for a few minutes at medium speed until it smooths out and has cooled enough that you can hold your finger against the dough for several seconds.
Whisk the eggs together in a small bowl. With the mixer on medium, beat the eggs into the dough in two additions. Wait until the first addition has been fully incorporated into the dough before adding the second. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. With the mixer on medium, beat in the cheese until fully incorporated. The resulting dough will be very sticky, stretchy, and soft with a consistency between cake batter and cookie dough.
Using an ice cream scoop, a tablespoon measure, or a dinner spoon, scoop rounded portions of the dough into mounds on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Space the mounds an inch or two apart. Dip your scoop in water to prevent sticking.
Transfer the sheet with the puffs to the oven and immediately turn down the heat to 350°F. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the puffs have puffed, the outsides are dry, and they are just starting to color. Cool briefly and eat. Leftover puffs can be kept in an airtight container for up to a week and re-crisped in a warm oven or toaster oven.