Chilebrown at home

Friday, December 5, 2008


If you are a resident of the Bay Area you may remember a restaurant called Solomon Grundy's. It was located on the Marina of Berkeley. It was a nice place with a bay view and a great place to watch the sunset. I would go for the black bean soup. This soup was 'Black Bean Heaven'. It was thick and hearty. Sadly they closed and took their soup with them. In the food section the other day was a recipe for Solomon Grundy's black bean soup. I could not resist to give it a try. Of course a couple of Chilebrown touches were added. I accompanied this soup with corn bread made with freshly ground corn meal laced with chipotle powder that was found at the Tierrra Vegetable stand at the Ferry Plaza. It had corn bread written all over it.


  1. 1 1/2 cup of corn meal
  2. 1 1/2 cup of flour
  3. 1 egg
  4. 1/4 cup honey
  5. 1 cup buttermilk
  6. 1/4 bacon fat from Nueske bacon
  7. 2 slices Nueske bacon cooked and chopped
  8. 1 teaspoon salt
  9. 1/4 cup corn
  10. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  11. 1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients and bake in a hot oiled black iron skillet for aprox 30 minutes at 400 degrees. It is done when bread is brown and a knife pulls out clean.

Solomon Grundy's Black Bean Soup
  1. 8 ounces black beans
  2. 2 bay leaves
  3. 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  4. 1 teaspoon black pepper
  5. 1 slice of bacon finely chopped
  6. 3 quarts of water
  7. 2 ounces sherry
  8. 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  9. 4 tablespoons of Nueske Bacon Fat
  10. 4 tablespoons of flour
Place beans, bay leaves, bacon,spices and water in a large pot. Bring to boil and lower to simmer. Cook for two hours or until beans are falling apart. Make a roux by mixing flour and fat together in a separate bowl. Slowly add to soup mixture stirring constantly. Add sherry and simmer for 15 more minutes.
Let me tell you how good the corn bread was. If you get a chance to go to the Ferry Plaza, be sure to pick up some freshly ground chipotle corn meal. The soup was okay. Sometimes pleasant memories are just that.


cookiecrumb said...

Your cornbread looks good!
When's your next trip to the Ferry Plaza? Next week? We'll meet you there.

I'm wondering if the roux in that soup was the flaw. I wouldn't do that.

Kailyn said...

I clicked over from my reader the minute I saw the name of the soup. Of course, I remember the place. It was where Skates is now. Had many a meal there, including the soup. The roux does sound a little off. I'd probably just drop some bacon fat in without the flour.

Chilebrown said...

Just following the recipe. It said to use oil. I subbed out bacon fat.
Cookiecrumb, Maybe, What is your motive? Maybe a Meat Cup from Boccalone?

Chilebrown said...

Cookiecrumb, One of my magazines has a Pannetone recipe and tips. I will save it for you. I cannot make it because citron may be the Devils fruit. Oh well.

cookiecrumb said...

CB: I have the panettone recipe; I think it's in Gourmet. Awfully gooey. I have another recipe in a book I'm going to try.

OK, my motive for visiting Ferry Plaza? Maybe a little slab of pate from Fatted Calf. Meat Cup is always on the agenda. This is totally whimsical; if you can't make it, I won't cry.

I bet you are REALLY BUSY driving your truck this month!!!

penti said...

I am a former San Franciscan now living in the Arkansas Ozarks. Thanks for the fond memories. By the way, I make black bean soup but I NEVER use roux. I always use butter.

penti said...

OH! and that's the wrong way to make a roux. A roux should always be browned in a heavy, preferable iron, skillet. Or cooked in the oven if you know how to do that.

Unknown said...

excellent! Chilebrown, you made my day! Hearts!