By Vera Fourie
Talk about a tasty dish! Since his memorable stint on The Vampire Diaries, Ian Somerhalder has become the bloodsucker that everyone wants a love bite from, though of course, only one lucky lady can lay claim to such – his wife Nikki Reed.
Born in Louisiana, USA, to Edna, a massage therapist, and father, Robert, a building contractor, Ian began modelling at the age of 10 – but don’t think he’s just a pretty face: the star says that if he hadn’t gone into acting, he would have become… a marine biologist! Of all things! If that isn’t crazy enough, did you know he reportedly can write with his feet? And while he may now be best known for his role as a blood-lustful beast, in real life he’s actually very compassionate, and is an avid supporter of animal causes – owning a few rescues himself. And though not a vegetarian, he does try to lean towards animal-friendly foods, like a tasty helping of cocoa black bean soup, which is the featured dish
of this week’s page!
Two tablespoons of olive oil
One red onion (diced)
Three bay leaves
Half a teaspoon of sea salt
Two stalks of celery (finely chopped)
Two carrots (peeled and grated coarsely)
One green bell pepper (chopped finely)
One cup of tomato purée
Two vegetable bouillon cubes
Four cups of water
One can of black beans (rinsed and drained)
Two tablespoons of cocoa mixed with water to a paste
Half a teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
Quarter of a teaspoon of smoked paprika
One cup coarsely chopped fresh flat parsley
Heat the oil in a large pot and add the onion, bay leaves, and salt. Cook until the onions are softened, then add the celery, carrots, and green pepper, and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until all vegetables are softened (about 10 minutes over medium heat). Add the tomato purée, bouillon cubes, and water and bring to a boil, then reduce your heat to maintain a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes, or until vegetables are very tender. Stir in beans, cocoa (which adds an exotic note that melds beautifully with the black beans’ deep flavour and creamy texture) pepper, and paprika and return to a simmer for about five minutes. Then stir in the parsley and serve!