Cream of cilantro soup
½ cup butter
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 medium onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1½ teaspoons ground cumin
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
1 shallot, chopped
½ cup flour
4 14.5 ounce cans vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 cups whipping cream
4 ounces Monterey jack cheese, shredded
  1. Melt butter in a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium-high heat.
  2. Add ¼ cup chopped cilantro, onion, and next 5 ingredients.
  3. Cook, stirring constantly, 5-7 minutes or until tender.
  4. Stir in flour and cook mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly about 7 minutes or until mixture is golden brown.
  5. Add vegetable broth, stirring rapidly until blended; add bay leaf.
  6. Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes.
  7. Stir in pepper and whipping cream and cook 5 minutes.
  8. Pour mixture through a wire-mesh strainer into a bowl, discarding vegetables.
  9. Add shredded cheese and remaining ¼ cup of chopped cilantro.
  10. Pour soup into individual serving bowls. Spoon black bean salsa (below) in center of each bowl.
Black bean salsa
1 16 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
½ cup chopped purple onion
4 green onions, chopped
2 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons olive oil
1½ tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper