Bernardo O’Higgins is big in Chile. As are spuds, with Chile hotly disputing Peru’s right to claim their country as the one who gave birth to the potato.
I was reminded of O’Higgins earlier this week, when it was my good fortune to be the guest of Santa Rita wines at the launch of their Local Heroes campaign. Son of an Irishman, O’Higgins was born in Chile in 1778 and was destined to become the first leader of a fully independent Chilean state. That his Da may have emigrated to Chile from Ireland in search of the ancestral home of the spud is a matter of pure speculation.
At the Local Heroes launch: somebody tell that woman she's supposed to be drinking wine
This soup is full o' beans
The time of year it is and the way I’m feeling says soup. Plain and simple. It’s cold without and cold within (cold and muzzy within my head, that is). My first thought was carrot and ginger soup (which is a favourite) but then I drifted towards something more substantial, and that lead me to think of this black bean recipe, which I adore. It’s one of those recipes that doesn’t have a long or complicated list of ingredients, but those that are featured just seem to combine to great effect. In its original format, the recipe is for a thick stew but, with a little more liquid added, it makes for a really hearty, chunky soup with a nice chili kick. The black beans used are those that are popular in Latin American dishes (sometimes called black turtle beans), as opposed to the (typically fermented) black soy beans found in Asian dishes, which are a different beast entirely. In any case, the soup version of this dish is exactly what I felt like today. That and a couple of hot whiskeys. Good for what ails ya.