Read the readers suggestions!

Man. I don’t think I will ever lose my love for soups, stews, one-pot-meals, bowls full of warm goodness.  It’s a comfort to me in words I don’t really know how to articulate.  It feels like home.  Like you’re cuddling on the couch with your favorite blanket and person by your side.  Seriously.  That’s how deep A BOWL OF WARM GOODNESS gets me. 

I’ve said this before, I like tweaking recipes as I go…not after I’ve already tried it! I can’t help it.  I either work with what I have or let my taste buds dive in, it’s more fun for me.  When a girlfriend, who was coming over for dinner, wanted something healthy and I wanted something easy – I started clicking around on Bon Appetite.  I found this Black Bean Soup w. Roasted Pablano Peppers. Mmmmm, I thought.  Read the recipe and then began to read the comments. “It’s too thin” is what everyone said.  “Too runny.”  “Had to add shredded chicken to feel like it thicken up.” “Served it over brown rice”  Okay, cool. Thanks for ideas, yos. Noted community, I’m getting in on this too. Eff, yeah.

What we ended up eating that night was so good.  So, so good. A perfect warm bowl of goodness.  It’s even good tonight for leftovers!  I hope you try this.  Or, try some variation of your own that you discover because you decided to play in the kitchen. Let me know if you do find something amazing.

Warm Bowl of Goodness (ie. Black Bean Stew/Soup w. some heat)
Makes 4 hearty bowls

2 poblano chiles
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed
1 14.5-oz. can fire-roasted or plain diced tomatoes
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 tablespoons fine corn meal
Kosher salt
2 14.5-oz. cans black beans, drained
½ cup crumbled feta
1 avocado (for serving)
Lime wedges (for serving)
Quinoa, enough for 4 servings, follow package details
1. Preheat broiler. Broil poblano chiles on a foil-lined baking sheet, turning occasionally, until blackened, 8–10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let steam 15 minutes. OR you can put them in a plastic bag – I did this, they were fine. I only worried the bag would melt for like a few seconds…

2. Peel, seed, and finely chop.

3. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft and golden brown, 8–10 minutes. Transfer to a blender, add tomatoes and cayenne, and blend until smooth.
4. Return tomato mixture to saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until thick, 6–8 minutes. Stir in broth; season with salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until soup is slightly thickened, 10–15 minutes. This is where the “it’s too thin” comes in…so, I decided to try to see what 2 tablespoons of corn meal did…It made this soup so much heartier.  If you do go this route, you have to stir constantly until all of the corn meal is mixed in – and be aware of chunks, they aren’t bad, it’s just polenta basically but if the wring consistency for the soup.

5. Stir in black beans and poblano chiles. Cook, stirring occasionally, until warmed through, about 5 minutes.

6. Serve soup over quinoa and topped with feta and avocado, with lime wedges alongside.