This hearty soup is perfectly topped off by a zesty dollop of crème fraîche flavored with sweet-tart Meyer lemon. To make the topping, in a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g.) room-temperature crème fraîche or sour cream; the grated zest of 1 Meyer lemon; 1 Tbs. fresh Meyer lemon juice; and a pinch of salt.
Black Bean Soup with Meyer Lemon Crème Fraîche
1/2 lb. (250 g.) dried black beans, picked over and rinsed
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 small white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small jalapeno chile, seeded and minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml.) dry sherry
4 cups (32 fl. oz./1 l.) chicken or vegetable broth
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Meyer lemon crème fraîche (left)
2 green onions, dark and light green parts only, sliced (optional)
Place the dried beans in a bowl with cold water to cover and soak for at least 4 hours or up to overnight. Drain.
In a large, heavy pot, warm the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the jalapeno and cumin and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the beans, sherry and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, until the beans are tender, about 1 1/4 hours.
For a smooth soup, remove the pot from the heat and let cool slightly. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender. Return to the pot and warm over low heat. Season with salt and pepper.
Top the soup with the crème fraîche and green onions, if using, and serve. Serves 4-6.