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Ravenous for this black bean soup

Posted by Sheryl Julian  March 8, 2011 04:36 PM

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Last week, I interviewed Dayna Macy (above), author of "Ravenous: A Food Lover's Journey From Obsession to Freedom" for tomorrow's G Force. She works at Yoga Journal and spent a year trying to figure out why she overeats.

She began by visiting artisan producers of the things she loves: triple creme cheeses, olives, unusual chocolates. If she saw how they were made, perhaps a small amount would satisfy her. That didn't work. Then the Berkeley, Calif. resident returned to New York, where she was raised. to see if she could tackle any demons left behind. Not that either.

Finally, she realized that it's a matter of deciding what to do and then practicing it. She wanted to do a full lotus pose, for instance, and spent many hours working on it. Same with dinner. She researched, read, and finally decided it was a matter of portion control. She could not eat what her husband can eat and not gain weight (pizza, pasta, etc.). She has to watch the quantity. She uses a measuring cup at meals and got herself down from a size 18 to a size 12.

The old rule: moderation. Why is it so hard to learn sometimes?

Black bean soup with sherry and pancetta

Serves 8


2 cups dried black beans, picked over

1 tablespoon pancetta

4 ounces pancetta, diced

1 small onion, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 teaspoons dried thyme

8 cups water

2 ounces dry sherry

Salt and pepper, to taste


1. In a soup pot, combine the beans and plenty of water to cover them. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 1 hour. Drain the beans and set aside. Rinse the pot.

2. In a skillet over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Cook the pancetta, stirring often, for 7 minutes or until crisp. With a slotted spoon, remove it from the pan.

3. Discard all but 2 tablespoons fat from the pan. Add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and thyme. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the beans and 8 cups water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover the pan, and simmer for 3 to 4 hours.

4. Return the pancetta to the pan. Add sherry, salt, and pepper. Adapted from “Ravenous: A Food Lover’s Journey From Obsession to Freedom”

About Dishing

What's cooking in the world of food.


Sheryl Julian, the Globe's Food Editor, writes regularly for the Food section.

Devra First is the Globe's food reporter and restaurant critic. Her reviews appear weekly in the Food section.

Ellen Bhang reviews Cheap Eats restaurants for the Globe and writes about wine.

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