Friday, January 7, 2011

Day 7 Dinner - Black Bean Soup with Poached Egg and Kale Chips

A few years ago, Obe, my dad and I were in Estes Park and decided to stop at this cute little Costa Rican restaurant called Pura Vida for lunch.  I ordered a cup of black beans and they brought it to me with a poached egg floating on the top.  Now I am hooked for life!  The egg adds a lovely texture and luxurious richness to the soup, and as you break the yolk it slowly oozes that liquid culinary gold into the bowl, making each spoonful just heavenly. 


Since I like to sneak greens into my dinner as often as possible, a side of kale chips accompanies this meal.  They are crispy, flavorful, and really, really good for you.  Once you've tried them, you may never want to buy a bag of potato chips ever again!  Avoid the very thick-leaf Kale varieties for this recipe.  I used Lacinato Kale because it has thinner leaves and makes a more crispy chip. 

Black Bean Soup with Poached Egg and Kale Chips
serves 6

2 cups dried black beans, picked through and rinsed
2 T olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups vegetable stock or water
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp coriander
dash cinnamon
1/2 bunch cilantro leaves
6 eggs
1/4 cup white vinegar

Kale Chips:
2 bunches kale, washed well, stems removed and torn into chip-sized pieces
2 tsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Cook black beans in plenty of water in a pressure cooker set to high until very tender, about 30 minutes.  If you don't have a pressure cooker, use a regular pot, covered, and adjust cooking time accordingly.  Drain beans in a colander and set aside. 

In a large pot, heat 2 T olive oil over medium heat.  Add onions and celery and saute until soft, about 8 minutes.  Add garlic and saute an additional minute.  Add beans and vegetable stock and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer and add spices.  Puree soup with an immersion blender (or, puree in batches in a blender or food processor).  Keep on low heat until ready to serve.

Make kale chips:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Dry kale pieces thoroughly in a salad spinner and toss with olive oil and salt to taste.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and spread kale pieces out in a single layer.  Bake until the leaves become crispy, but not brown, about 10 minutes.

While chips are baking, poach the eggs:  Spray a large saute pan with cooking oil (or coat with a little bit of olive oil) and fill with about three inches of water.  Add white vinegar and bring to a simmer.  Adjust heat so that steam is rising from the water but it is not bubbling.  Crack each egg into a small cup and gently pour the egg into the water.  Cook until whites look very firm but yolk is still runny, about 3 or 4 minutes.

Portion soup into bowls and place one poached egg into each bowl.  Top with cilantro leaves and serve with kale chips on the side.


  1. we love to finish black bean soup with a splash of rum and then a swirl of plain yogurt on top but we can't wait to try this recipe with the Kale Chips!


  2. Mmmm! I always braise or boil my kale! Can't wait to make these chips. You are such a good writer, Whitney! I'm excited to have a great new food blog to read!