Recipe adapted from Kate McMillan, "Williams-Sonoma Soup of the Day" (Weldon Owen, $34.95, 304 pages).
1/2 pound dried black beans, picked over and rinsed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small jalapeño chili, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup dry sherry
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
2 green onions, sliced, optional
Meyer lemon crème fraîche:
1/2 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
Grated zest of 1 Meyer lemon
1 tablespoon Meyer lemon juice
Place the beans in a bowl with cold water to cover and soak for 4 hours or up to overnight. Drain.
In a large heavy pot, warm the oil over medium-high heat Add the onion and garlic and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the jalapeño and cumin and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.
Add the beans, sherry and broth, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered until the beans are tender, about 75 minutes.
Mix the Meyer lemon crème fraîche ingredients together. Chill until ready to use.
When the beans are tender, remove the pan from the heat.
Ladle the beans and broth into bowls, top with dollops of lemon crème fraîche and sliced scallions and serve.