Roasted Tomatillo and Black Bean Soup

Roasted Tomatillo & Black Bean Soup (adapted from A Couple Cooks by Liz from Carpé Season) (serves 4 as a main dish, 6-8 as a side) 

Note: Taking the time to roast the vegetables first really enhances their flavor. Don’t skip this step!

Ingredients:
12 small tomatillos, husked, rinsed, & dried
2 red onions
2 jalapeno peppers, cored & seeded
2 bell peppers, cored & seeded
3 garlic cloves, peeled & quartered
app. 4 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt
2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 fifteen-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
3 sprigs cilantro + more for garnish
2 ears sweet corn, husked
salt & pepper, to taste

Toppings: 

6 radishes, halved & thinly sliced
3 green onions, finely sliced
1 lime, cut into wedges
1/2 to 1 cup shredded cheese, to taste (monterey jack, cotija, cheddar, etc.)
tortilla chips
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parchment paper

Directions:
Preheat oven to 450*F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper (I ended up using 2 baking sheets to make a single layer of vegetables on each).

Roughly chop the tomatillos, red onions, bell peppers, and jalapenos.  Place the chopped veggies along with the garlic on the sheet(s) and drizzle with olive oil, using your hands to toss and coat. Sprinkle with kosher salt. Roast until soft and slightly browned, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.

(While the veggies are roasting, you can prepare your toppings.)

Once vegetables are just slightly cooled, scoop them into a food processor or blender. I pulsed mine a few times to retain some texture, but you could puree until smooth if you prefer. (You could also use an immersion blender.) Pour the veggies into a pot along with the broth, beans, and 3 sprigs of cilantro. Bring the mixture to a boil and then keep at a rapid simmer for 15 minutes, stirring frequently to keep it from sticking to the bottom, until slightly thickened.

While the soup is simmering, heat a stove burner to medium heat. Toast your husked corn cobs by placing them directly on the burner, rotating frequently (every minute or so), until charred and aromatic. (Alternately, you could grill your corn). Once charred, cut kernels away from cob.

In the last 2 minutes of simmering, mix the corn kernels into the soup. Remove cilantro sprigs. Season with salt and pepper to taste, place in bowls. and top with green onions, cilantro, radishes, lime juice, and cheese as you wish. (We loved dipping tortilla chips in this!)

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