You know the feeling when you have to make dinner and you’re just standing in front of the refrigerator waiting for an idea to come to you? Or the only meat you have is frozen and you just aren’t in the mood to defrost it, let alone cook it after that? I have those days too. I usually don’t plan ahead enough to defrost meat in the fridge, so I usually opt for the microwave which is convenient, but sometimes it’s just an added step I’d rather skip.
That’s why it’s so nice when you have leftover meat in the fridge that you can use in another dish. Rotisserie chickens are great for an easy, already cooked protein that you can use in endless recipes. This is a recipe that utilizes leftover beef. In my case I had steak from a previous night’s dinner and turned it into a soup.
This Chipotle Black Bean and Steak Soup is a nice comfort on a chilly, wet, Midwest winter night. It is spicy, smoky, and a bit sweet from the corn. In the recipe I use chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. These can be found in the international aisle by the Mexican ingredients. They come in a small can and contain a few peppers in a spicy, smoky sauce. If you don’t care for spice or chipotles you can decrease the amount, substitute with a couple teaspoons of chili powder, or just leave it out.
*A note about jalapenos – A lot of the heat from spicy peppers comes from the seeds and fleshy ribs inside the pepper. If you like spicy food you can dice up the whole thing and you are good to go. If you are a bit more cautious, remove the ribs and seeds. A daring way to find out if your jalapeno is mild or hot is to touch a seed to your tongue. I’m usually to chicken to do this! Also, I have heard that if there are light brown lines up and down the jalapeno that means it’s more mature and will be hotter.
Chipotle Black Bean and Steak Soup – Serves 4-6, Cook Time 30-40 minutes
1-2 ribs of celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped
2-3 medium garlic cloves, minced
½ t ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon oregano
1-2 chipotles in adobo sauce, diced
2 cups beef broth
1 cup water
2 cans black beans
½ cup corn
1 cup leftover steak, sliced
salt & pepper
Heat a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add a couple tablespoon of oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Add the celery, onion, jalapeno, garlic, sprinkling of salt and pepper, and saute until the onions begin to soften and become translucent, about five minutes.
Add the spices to the vegetables and stir for 30 seconds so they release their flavors and aromas. Deglaze the pan by adding about a cup of the beef broth to the pot and scraping the bottom to get any bits off the bottom of the pot. Add the rest of the broth and water, black beans, chipotles, and another sprinkling of salt and pepper. Stir to combine and simmer for 10 minutes to let the celery soften up a bit and the flavors meld together.
During the last couple minutes of cooking add the steak and corn and allow to heat through. Taste for seasoning and serve.
Some ideas for garnishes: sliced green onion, chopped cilantro, sour cream, lime wedge, avocado slices, tortilla chips. I served my soup with a Cheddar Jalapeno Bread and a few garnishes.