It’s cold outside, and I can’t eat casseroles everyday, so soup was on the menu for tonight. I wanted to go home and get a pot on the stove fast, and this recipe from Hands-Off Cooking by Ann Martin Rolke was just right. The whole concept of the book is that the recipes all let you do something else — check email, pay some bills, chat with the kids — while the food takes care of itself. This recipe, Caribbean Black Bean Soup, has onions, garlic, and fresh ginger, and normally I’d expect to have to saute those for a while to get the recipe started. Not this time. First of all, there is no added oil. Second, you just dump everything in the pot and forget about it. The results really impressed me. If you try this recipe, I recommend you wait at least 10 minutes before you serve it. When it was still boiling hot, I couldn’t really get the full depth of flavor from the coconut milk and spices. I also improvised quite a bit by sweetening it with honey since I had no molasses and adding a little ground cloves, cumin, and cardamom since I had no allspice. And I toasted up some tortillas and tossed those on top. Great recipe. By the way, Ann has a cool blog you can visit here.