Back in December, I offered a variation on tonight’s menu. While this is not a traditional Mexican soup, the combination of beans with cumin, lime, and cilantro help tilt this dish towards that country. Tonight’s version features a different twist than the one I proposed before—instead of rice in the soup, I am adding cornmeal-cheese dumplings. I am also thickening the soup in a different way: after the beans have cooked enough to be sufficiently tender, remove a cup or so and puree in the blender and add back into the larger pot. The dumplings are added to the soup just before serving and add a wonderful chewy texture and contrast statement to this meal.

Mexican black bean soup simmered with onions, jalapeno pepper, garlic, cumin, and lime juice served with cornmeal dumplings of ricotta and pepperjack cheese
Shredded lettuce with red wine vinaigrette

Mocha-cinnamon parfait with chocolate shavings