We had a historic snow storm yesterday and I’ve got the sore muscles to prove it. So. much. shoveling. Fortunately, I’ve got the phone numbers for a few neighborhood teenagers looking to earn some extra cash. So this afternoon, I will hunker down with a bowl of black bean soup and gaze out the window, watching them work.
Snow storms make me want to cook soup. In addition to pulling out this tried and true black bean soup recipe, I also made roasted tomato soup and turkey chipotle chili (recipes to come). Black bean soup just makes me happy. Well, anything with cumin and cilantro in it makes me happy. I love how the flavors meld with the beans.
I also like how hearty this soup is. I feel like I’ve eaten a stew more than a soup, and it gives me the energy to do whatever needs doing (like shoveling more snow, or strapping on the snowshoes for a romp in the neighborhood).
Also, this is super easy to make! I tend to use canned beans because, well, I never plan far enough in advance to soak the beans. Either way is great.
Black Bean Soup Recipe
- 2 cans black beans (or 1 lb bag dried black beans)
- 4 to 6 cups stock (I used turkey, but you can keep this vegan/vegetarian with vegetable stock)
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 1 jalapeno, diced
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 Tbs cumin
- ½ tsp cayenne
- cilantro (as much as you like…I use an entire bunch)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 to 2 tsp salt
- If you’re using dry beans, you need to prep them the night before. Pick over beans and remove any that are an odd color; rinse well. Place in a large bowl with cold water, enough to cover them by 2 inches. Let the beans soak for at least 6 hours or overnight. Drain. To cook, put in a sauce pan and cover with 2 inches of water. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 2 hours (I check in every 20 minutes to test and add more water).
- Heat oil in a soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté until tender (about 5 minutes). Add the green pepper and jalapeno, and sauté another 2 minutes. Add the carrot and sauté another 2 minutes.
- Add the stock, black beans, cumin, cayenne, cilantro, bay leaf, and salt. Bring to a light boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 1 hour.
- Puree about three quarters of the soup in a blender until fairly smooth. (Use caution when pureeing hot liquids—they can make the blender explode. I either cool the soup before blending, or I blend in very small batches).
- Return the pureed soup to the pot and heat through.
- Serve the soup garnished with a pico de gallo (pictured) or dollop of sour cream (or plain greek yogurt) and cilantro, if desired.