Black Bean Soup

By Cynthia McMullen
Originally posted 2012

Black BeansThis soup is special for the Water Element and helps to strengthen our kidneys.  It uses several foods that are especially beneficial to the kidneys:  black beans, barley, cinnamon, cloves, quality sea salt, black sesame seeds, and kombu seaweed.  I cooked the beans in a pressure cooker because this method forces the flavor and nutrition deep inside, just like our Water Element is deep inside.  According to Paul Pitchford, author of Healing With Whole Foods, pressure cooking can be used to tap into deep core issues that we have, releasing them to enhance our spirituality.

If you don’t have a pressure cooker, this can be cooked on the stovetop – it just takes about 2 hours longer, OR you can use canned black beans.

Step 1:  Prepare the black beans by soaking 1 package of dried beans in a bowl of water overnight.  (Skip this step if using canned black beans.)

Next Day, Prepare the Soup:

1.  In a pressure cooker pot, place 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1 strip rinsed kombu seaweed, ½ cinnamon stick, 2 cloves, 2 bay leaves, and the rinsed pre-soaked black beans.  Cover with water at least 2 inches above the beans and 3 Tbsp olive oil.  Place the cover on the pot and bring to pressure (see the directions for your pressure cooker).  When pressure is reached, lower heat and cook for 10 minutes.  Remove from heat, release the steam and open.  Do not drain.

2.  Check the beans – they should be slightly soft and perfectly done.  Remove the bay leaves, cloves (if you can find them floating), and cinnamon stick.

3.  Remove the Kombu square.  Now softened, cut it up into tiny squares and re-add back into the soup.

4.  Place the pot back on low heat and add the following ingredients, preferably organic:

1-15-oz can peeled & chopped tomatoes

1 container of your favorite salsa pureed with 1 cup fresh cilantro

1 orange, peeled, de-seeded, and chopped into small chunks

1 green pepper, chopped

¼ cup uncooked barley

1 Tbsp ground cumin

2 Tbsp powdered vegetable broth

1 Tbsp powdered shiitake mushrooms

1 tsp quality sea salt, or to taste

½ tsp black sesame seeds

Cover (but don’t pressurize) and cook over low heat until the barley is soft, about 35-45 minutes.  Ready to serve!