Soups On....Black Bean Soup

Black Bean Soup The winter weather is here to stay so I say, put on a pot of soup! Over the past 18 months I have taken meat out of my diet and have happened upon and created a...

Black Bean Soup
Black Bean Soup

The winter weather is here to stay so I say, put on a pot of soup!

Over the past 18 months I have taken meat out of my diet and have happened upon and created a number of recipes that foster this healthier lifestyle.  Beans are my new source of protein.   This recipe featuring black beans and plenty of vegetables is a keeper and a favorite of many.  The secret to this soup, like so many others,  is to make it a day ahead and then serve.  The flavors have added time to marry and get happy!

I use some vegetable stock in my recipe.  I often will make my own, as I can control the salt best with this option and there are no preservatives.  I have tried many cans and boxes of Vegetable Stock/Broth but the sodium content of many has turned me away.  I have found a product that is lower in sodium and very flavorful.  Better than Bouillon, is an all-natural, reduced sodium vegetable base packaged in an 8 oz. jar.  You will always find a jar in my refrigerator.  Warning:  this still has salt, so you must season accordingly.  This soup base is a product of SuperiorTouch.com.

Black Bean Soup

Ingredients:

  • 5  - 15.5  ounce cans black beans (pour any water off of the top of the can) I prefer to use seasoned black beans.   Some store brands are very worthy.
  • 4 - 10 ounce cans of diced tomatoes and green chiles.  These come in an original and a spicy variety. Depending on the heat you would like in this soup, you might omit the red pepper flakes below.
  • 3 peppers (1 red, 1 yellow, 1 orange)
  • 1 whole stalk of celery, chopped
  • 3 – 4 onions, diced
  • 6 – 8 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 jalapenos, minced.  Devein and remove seeds.
  • 2tsp. Better than Bouillon vegetable stock/base dissolved into 2 cups of boiling water – to make your vegetable stock or 2 cups of home-made vegetable stock (more if needed).  I prefer my soup rather tight.
  • 3 tsp. cumin
  • 3 tsp. ground coriander
  • ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

Directions:

Sauté celery, onion, bell peppers, jalapeno and garlic in 3 - 4 tablespoons of oil for about 12 – 15 minutes until the vegetables are almost tender.  You can cook these longer if you prefer, but I like a bit of crunch in these vegetables.  Mix in the spices to bloom.  Cook for about five minutes before adding the beans, tomatoes and stock.   Simmer the whole pot for at least 45 minutes.  This will continue to thicken as you cook. Check the seasonings at this point.   You can serve immediately, but this is best if allowed to rest overnight.

On serving day, reheat and check again for spices.

Top with dices of avocado and serve hot.  As added condiments, you might opt to include: chili powder or hot sauce.    Some also like this topped with sour cream or some Greek yogurt along with some fresh cilantro and lime.

Freezes well.