Smoky Black Bean and Vegetable Soup

Your Royko Recipe for December, 2017

Smoky Black Bean and Vegetable Soup
Food & Wine, Jan. 1993, Page 88. Credit: Sally Sampson.

This low-fat, high-fibre soup gets better as it sits, so make it at least one day ahead.
Serves 4.

Chipotle chiles in adobo can be hard to find unless you go to a store that specializes in Mexican or Latin American foods. They are chiles that have been smoked and packed in tomato sauce. You can substitute jalapeños, but the smokey taste will be missing.

One serving: Calories 363, protein 20 gm, carbohydrate 69 gm, cholesterol .6 mg, total fat 3 gm, saturated fat .3 gm.

1 large coarsely chopped Spanish onion
2 ribs halved lengthwise, thinly sliced celery
2 diced carrots
4 cloves finely chopped garlic
2 rinsed, seeded, chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo
2 bay leaves
 2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp. dried basil

1 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. dried oregano
3 15-oz. cans rinsed black beans

1 28-oz. can chopped canned Italian plum tomatoes-with their juice
8 cup vegetable stock

1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt
wedges limes or oranges
chopped fresh cilantro

In a large saucepan, cook the onion, celery, carrots, garlic and 1/2 cup of water over moderate heat until the vegetables soften (about 12 minutes). Stir in the chiles, bay leaves, cumin, basil, chili powder and oregano and cook for 3 minutes.

Stir in the black beans, tomatoes and vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Cover partially and simmer over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, for 2 hours.

Discard the bay leaves. Puree 3 cups of the soup in a food processor or blender until smooth. Stir the puree back into the soup. Season with salt and serve hot with the yogurt, lime wedges and cilantro.

Rebar arrives

The No Frills supermarket on Coxwell has been gone for a lo-o-ong time, after its sudden closure in May, 2016. The BIG hole in our food desert may finally be stable enough for rebuilding.

That’s rebar in the parking lot, tons of it. Onward and upward!

Refreshing simplicity and dedication

Friend John McCready was born in Burundi, the son of missionary parents. He grew up in North America, though, made a success of himself and got to a stage in life where he began to think about the land of his birth. It could use some help but he knew better than to charge in like some know-it-all white guy.

John flies over, on his own dime, to see how projects are going.

A few years ago, John used a modest amount of personal money and a lot of personal ability as a people-organizer to start some grassroots projects. He has been rigorous, sticking to his principle that the projects be Burundian, not his.

The website is simple and the pictures little (to keep bandwidth demands low) but you might find it refreshing to see how people are making small, sustainable businesses, educating themselves and working together. A little can do a lot.

A Stefan Berg opportunity

I’m a fan of local artist Stefan Berg, so I’m just going to paste the contents of his email announcement below. We have a couple of linocut prints from his Buddy Bolden Blues series.

December Update from Lower Dawes Studio.

I have completed my print series of 50 linocuts in response to Glenn Gould, titled Architecture of Music ! A selection of 25 linocuts will be exhibited at the Pilot Tavern ( 22 Cumberland St. ) Opening Monday December 18th at 630 pm, and the show will hang through January. The complete portfolio of prints is available, if you wish to make a visit to my studio please RSVP with a date and time that works for you. Attached are some images from Architecture of Music, and below a little more information about the narrative and my motivation behind it.

10 recent paintings will be exhibited at Grinder On Main ( 126 Main St. ) Opening Sunday December 17th at 1pm, accompanied by a jazz band performing A Charlie Brown Christmas (2pm). This series depicts the industrial landscape of Lower Dawes and features a number of variations on The Main Square. The show will hang through January.

Hope to see you,
Happy Holidays,

Stefan Berg, Lower Dawes Studio, 12 Dawes Rd, Flr.2. Tel: 1.647.708.5216

Glenn Gould is Canada’s legendary figure of creativity, innovation, and excellence, the greatest pianist of the 20th century, who changed the music climate of the world with his idiosyncratic interpretations of classical scores. My narrative weaves Gould’s first and last recordings of the Goldberg Variations (1955 & 1981) with his inquiry into the notion of solitude, identity, and place, discussed in his conceptual radio documentary, The Idea of North (1967). This series of linocuts provide a visual vocabulary of positive & negative space which emphasize the counterpoint of harmony and melody; the architecture of music. During the summer of 2015 I spent two weeks at my family cottage contemplating a narrative on Gould. For the summers of 2016 and 2017 I stay at my cottage and carved a total of 92 lino-blocks. Working in solitude I was able to adapt my personal experience and surroundings to reflect upon the mood and atmosphere Gould constructed for his own creative practice.

Further reading:
Interview by Scott Ponemone in The Baltimore Museum of Art, Print and Drawing Periodical
Article by Anna Killen in the Beach Metro News
Interview by Martha Nandorfy during an exhibition at Silence.

I see what you mean, Gord

Gord Smith told me that one of his monumental bronze sculptures [Triptych, 1982] stands on the grounds of the Windsor Art Gallery.

“One of the figures is facing the wrong way,” he said.

One of those 360 degree photos let me take a look at the Windsor installation. Sure enough. The tall male figure looks away from the female figure, changing the meaning of the piece in a big way.

Kind of a bad goof for an art gallery. Would they correct the mistake if they knew?