For our culinary and baking students, the last class before they go out on externship allows them to showcase all the skills that they have learned throughout their studies thus far on campus. Foodservice Operations class serves as an introduction into the real world of foodservice. Students have the opportunity to prep and work all stations inside the kitchen and the dining room. Culinary and baking students work together to create a menu based on the origin or theme of their choice, design and decorate the dining area, and execute a full dinner service.
For this service, our students created a Mexican themed menu and ambiance to match. They named their restaurant “Cuatro Amigos” and featured a four course meal encompassing many Mexican flavors. They even added Aqua Horchata to their menu, a traditional Mexican beverage made with rice milk, cinnamon and vanilla. The rest of the menu included a Southwestern Black Bean soup to start, freshly made empanadas served with guacamole, a main course of grilled Carne Asada Tacos topped with fresh cilantro and onion, and sides of salsa verde and salsa roja. And of course, dessert: crisp cinnamon dusted churros, served with vanilla Tuille cookies, Mexican hot chocolate and kahlua coffee ice cream. Are you hungry yet?
They did base one of their menu items off of a recipe from the On Cooking textbook used in Advanced Skills: Seafood and poultry. They took the Southwestern Black Bean Soup recipe featured in this blog and added Smoked Tasso Ham and cumin-scented mascarpone cheese to give the soup additional Mexican flavor, and it was outstanding.
Try the recipe for yourself, throw in some of the additions our students used and see where it takes you!
How to make Southwestern Black Bean Soup
Yield: Approximately 3 qts.
- Dried black beans 1 lb.
- Vegetable stock 4 qt.
- Bay Leaves 2
- Dried Thyme ½ tsp
- Peppercorns, cracked 10
- Canola Oil 1 tbsp.
- Onion, diced 4 oz.
- Garlic Cloves, minced 2
- Anaheim Chile, diced 1 oz.
- Jalapeno or Serrano Chile, minced 1 tbsp.
- Cumin, ground 1 tsp.
- Coriander, ground 1 tsp.
- Dried oregano 1 tsp.
- Salt and pepper 1 tsp.
- Lime wedges as needed for garnish
- Fresh Cilantro as needed for garnish
Six Steps to an Amazing Southwestern Black Bean Soup
Combine the beans and stock or water in a medium stockpot and bring to simmer. Add the sachet.
- Sauté the onion, garlic and chilies in the oil. Add the stockpot
- Stir in the cumin, coriander and oregano.
- Simmer the soup, uncovered, approximately 2 ½ to 3 ½ hours. The beans should be very soft, just beginning to fall apart. Add additional stock if necessary.
- Puree about half of the soup, then stir it back into the remaining soup. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve in warmed bowls garnished with lime wedges
Approximate values per 6-fl.-oz. Calories 70. Total Fat 2g, Saturated Fat 0 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 1010 mg, Total Carbohydrates 9 g, Protein 4 g