Recipes and Tips for Healthier Living and Smarter Budgeting

Monday, January 6, 2014

Black Bean Soup

This is a newer Family Favorite that I'm re-posting from 2012. During the winter, especially, a warm, hearty soup really hits the spot on a cold evening. And I love how this one can be catered to each person, depending on which toppings he or she likes.

Original post:
The other night I made this black bean soup recipe posted on Word of Wisdom Living a little while ago. It's Skip's own recipe and I didn't modify it at all (except to omit the jalapenos and celery). You really should check out the original, with beautiful picture included. I don't remember ever having a black bean soup more delicious than this one! The spices are perfect (and I was so glad for the guidance in that area because often I am at a loss as to what other spices a recipe needs), and the result is a savory and satisfying soup that is hard to stop eating, it's so good. Plus, it's so healthful, what's not to love?!

Skip's Black Bean Soup
Yields 6 servings

1 lb. dried black beans, rinsed and drained
1 qt. homemade chicken stock
2 c. water (if beans aren’t soaked overnight)
1 bay leaf
1 carrot, finely sliced
2 Tb. olive oil
1 Jalapeno pepper, seeds removed and diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ bell pepper
½ onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
½ tsp. cumin
½ tsp. ground oregano
½ tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. salt (or to taste, depending on salt in stock)
1 Tb. vinegar (optional)
1 lime (optional)

1. Black beans may be soaked overnight in 6 cups water and then drained, or alternately, begin with dry beans.   (See my bean cooking tip #3.) If beans weren’t soaked overnight, combine chicken stock, water, black beans, and bay leaf in a saucepan, bring to a boil, then simmer ½ hour.

2. While beans are simmering, wash and prepare vegetables. Saute jalapeno pepper in olive oil several minutes; add garlic and cook one minute more.

3. When step #1 is done, add carrots to simmering pot. After 30 minutes add sautéed jalapeno pepper and garlic, bell pepper, onion, and celery to pot. Add seasonings and stir well.

4. Simmer 1 to 1½ hours more until beans are tender but not mushy. Stir several times each hour. (If you want natural rice with the soup, this is a good time to cook the rice.)

5. Remove about half of soup from pot and puree with a blender, and then return to pot.

Adjust seasoning as needed. Add water if needed for desired consistency. 

Black bean soup may be served over rice and garnished with your choice of lime juice, sour cream, avocado, tortilla chips, chopped onions, grated cheese, parsley or cilantro. Black bean soup is pretty basic; the garnishments make it interesting. 

This recipe can be adapted to a slow cooker, or simplified by using canned black beans, canned chilies, and store-bought chicken broth if you’re running short on time.

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