Monday, November 14, 2011

Black Bean Soup

Black bean soup is a staple in our home.  It is thick and satisfying, rich in fiber, low fat, big in flavor and it really sticks to your ribs.  That is an important factor when you are feeding four teenagers.  One more little perk for me is that this is a super cheap meal.  The board of ingredients is mostly chopped veggies.     

I am using chopped red pepper, tomato, onion, jalapeno, carrot and celery.  A clove of garlic would be a great addition if you were so inclined. 

I soaked the beans overnight.  I just rinsed the beans and tossed them in a bowl.  {I love this bowl.}  I added enough boiling water to cover the beans, covered the bowl with a plate and let them rest on the counter until the next morning.  You could make this soup with a couple cans of black beans.  I do that on a regular basis, but soaking your own beans saves money as well as a ton of sodium.  Canned beans are salted.  These aren't.  So this is a healthy thing for your body as well as your wallet.   

Add a drizzle of olive oil to a stock pot over medium high heat.  Sorry for the blurry picture, but you get the idea right? 

Add the chopped vegetables to the pot. 

Add a generous pinch of salt and several grinds of pepper. 

Stir everything together and give the vegetables time to cook down.  You are essentially concentrating the flavors of the vegetables. 

Stir the vegetables every once in a while.  Cook them til the vegetables are tender and the onions are translucent. 

Add the cumin, another pinch of salt and the paprika. 

Add the black beans.  My flash made them look purple! 

Add enough chicken stock to cover the beans.

Stir everything in the pot...

Cover the pot and bring the soup to a boil.  When the soup boils, reduce it to a simmer and cook until the beans are very tender, about thirty minutes.

The soup is now done.  You can dish it up and eat away.  Or...

You can blend the soup into a velvety smooth texture.

I am using an immersion blender, but you could use a blender or food processor and blend the soup in batches. 

Blend the soup until you reach a consistency you like.  We like our soup thick with a little bit of texture. 

Time to eat!

To garnish your bowl of soup you can add lots of fun, yummy things to turn the ordinary bowl of soup into an extraordinary bowl of soup.  My kids love it when I garnish their food.  You can add extra black beans, salsa, Greek yogurt or sour cream, sliced green onions or a fresh salsa with lots of fresh cilantro. 

I LOVE black beans so I always add a scoop of them to my soup.

Greek yogurt and green onions are my favorite way to eat this.  My husband adds a ton of salsa to his bowl. 

Black Bean Soup


Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
1 Medium Diced Onion
2 Roma Tomatoes, Diced
1 Red Pepper, Diced
2 Carrots, Diced
2 Ribs Celery, Diced
1 Jalapeno Pepper, Diced
1 Tablespoon Cumin
2 teaspoons Paprika
1 Pound Soaked Black Beans
6 Cups Chicken Stock


1. Add a drizzle of olive oil to a stock pot over medium high heat.  Add diced vegetables, salt and pepper.  Cook vegetables, stirring occasionally, til tender and onions are translucent.

2.  Add cumin, paprika, a pinch of salt, and black beans to vegetables.  Cover with chicken stock and bring soup to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cook till black beans are tender.

3.  Blend soup if desired.  Add chicken stock to thin soup if desired.  Enjoy.

For a a printer friendly version of this recipe click here.

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