It’s been cold (for us) and rainy for the last several days here in ATL, which is soup weather in my world. By cold I mean 45 or so, which I know, isn’t cold. But this is the South dangit! As a native of the Northeast, I still chuckle when people bundle up in heavy coats, gloves, scarves and boots when it’s 50 degrees out, but I have gotten a little less tolerant of temperatures in the 30’s. Anyway, enough with the weather report, on to the soup. I hadn’t tried any of the soup recipes from the Candle 79 book yet and this one sounded really good. We’ve loved most things we’ve cooked from the book, so I was pretty confident it would be good. I have to say that I had one major problem when cooking this, which had nothing whatsoever to do with the recipe. My black beans have been refusing to cook lately. I must’ve gotten an old batch from the bulk bin or something, because even after soaking all day and cooking for way longer than they should need to, they’ve still been undercooked and tough. I was a little worried this might happen with my soup and it did. Time to dump the beans and get new ones I think. The soup was still really good, but I had to let it cook for over two hours and they beans didn’t absorb enough of the water so I used an immersion blender to smoosh them up and thicken the soup a bit. It worked, and although the beans were still not as tender as they should have been, we really enjoyed it. The flavor of the roasted Poblano and red bell pepper are really nice and give the soup some oomph. The garnish of Crème Fraiche for the soup is a really nice touch and I highly recommend it. It’s not hard to make at all, but I think mine was a little too thick, owing to the fact that I don’t have a high power blender and I didn’t bother to strain it at all. I made a half recipe and we had tons left over, so now I just need to dream up things to do with it. We’re both big fans of the cornbread recipe in 1000 Vegan Recipes and I needed to make some for New Year’s Day anyway. I leave out the jalapenos and put the batter in a muffin pan. Since it’s just the two of us, things like breads can sometimes go bad before we finish them. If we make mini loaves or muffins, we can freeze the extra and have it on hand whenever we want it. Never waste bread. Ever. Seth made an enormous salad, which we topped with Buttermilk Ranch dressing from Cookin’ Crunk, which is now pretty much always on hand in my fridge.