Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Easy Black Bean Soup

I've been eating this black bean soup since Saturday & I'm happily having it for lunch again, today. Granted I made enough to feed a small country but it was too easy not too & I'll confess when I cook with dried beans I always forget that those 1lb bags make A LOT.

As I just hinted at I used dried beans for this recipe, so while it is easy it is time consumptive as in the beans take about 2 hours to cook. If you have a free afternoon or some time on the weekend I recommend making this & then eating it for lunch for two weeks. You can also easily freeze it after it has cooled down.

One thing that I ask you to do to fully enjoy this soup is to top it with this cream sauce. The tanginess of the yogurt & acidity of the lime take this to another level. Do it!

PS: you can totally make this recipe gluten-free if you don't eat it with tortilla chips that have flour & you can make it vegan by using veggie stock & skipping the cream sauce.

PPS: if you don't wan to make 2lbs of beans cut the recipe in half!

Ingredients: (recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman's Black Bean Soup)
  • 2 lbs dried black beans
  • 3 large bell peppers (in assorted colors), chopped
  • 1 large red onion
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled & chopped
  • 3 large bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more if you can handle the heat)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 8 cups chicken or veggie stock
  • 3 cups water (& maybe some more)
Toppings (optional)
  • THIS cream sauce
  • tomatoes, chopped
  • avocado, diced
  • cilantro or parsley leaves
  • tortilla chips

Make it!
  1. Place the beans in a bowl or pot, cover with cold water, & allow to soak overnight *OR* add beans to a large pot and cover with hot water.
  2. Bring to a boil, then boil for 2 minutes.
  3. Turn off the heat, cover the pot and allow the beans to sit for 1 hour.
  4. Drain the beans and rinse them with cold water.
  5. In a large pot, add beans, chicken stock, water, onions,  peppers, celery, carrots, garlic & bay leaves. 
  6. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, & simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
  7. Add the salt, cumin, oregano, black pepper, cayenne pepper, red pepper & tomato paste. Stir well.
  8. Cover & continue simmering for another 30 minutes to 1 hour, until the beans taste soft & creamy. The soup may get super thick, if you prefer a thinner soup add a cup or two more of water.
  9. Stir occasionally.
  10. Taste your soup & season accordingly.
  11. Put the cream sauce in a squeeze bottle & squeeze circles of the cream sauce on top of the soup. 
  12. Remove the bay leaves. Serve in bowls. Top with the toppings of your choice (read: all of them!)

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