I froze the black beans after their two-day soak. They had sprouted by then and that was a good thing. In traditional cooking, nuts, grains and seeds are soaked for a day or two to reduce the nutritional inhibitors they naturally contain. Our ancestors somehow knew to do this but I rarely plan for this step. It's a big deal if I do.
To celebrate the first day of spring, besides my glass of wine, the first cutting of spinach from the cold-frame was made into salad and some of the frozen black beans went into creamy, cheesy soup. It looked sort of black and white for the equinox. This soup is really good, based on a recipe from the Chinaberry Cookbook (again), called Chile Blanco. The recipe below is how I make it now. And my Cupcake wine doubled as dessert, I guess.
I hope you're enjoying the new season!
Saute 2 chopped onions and 6 cloves of garlic in olive oil. After a few minutes, add 4 cups of uncooked chicken breast cubes. After a few more minutes, season with 2 1/2 t. cumin, 2 t. oregano, 1 t. cayenne pepper and 8 oz. diced green chiles. Then add 6 cups chicken broth and 2-3 cups cooked beans of your choice. Simmer 30 minutes. Turn heat down and add 1 cup sour cream and 3 cups shredded monterey jack cheese with jalapeno peppers. Serve when cheese is completely melted.