Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Black Bean Soup

OK, I've confessed before that sometimes menu planning is driven by what is on sale at the grocery store, and when I see the price drop on red bell peppers I am reminded how much the kids and I enjoy black bean soup. It's the red bell pepper which seems to be the trigger, because the rest of the ingredients are almost always on hand. Another part of the delight is that it is a meal which encourages condiments - always a hit with little kids.

This is not a dish I had ever ordered at a restaurant before, nor had I ever even eaten it before trying it at mom's house a couple years back. Who knew that black bean soup was so delicious? OK, so maybe others out there already knew this, but it was news to me. Topped with shredded cheese, diced avocado, a squeeze of fresh lime juice and soy-flaxseed tortilla chips (another item I would have never tried on my own ) and it's true comfort food that is healthy and easy. So easy I had made the whole pot before realizing I hadn't taken any pictures. Oops.

Black Bean Soup
Closely followed from "Black Bean Stoup"

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 ribs celery with greens, chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 bay leaf
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
3 (15-ounce) cans black beans
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
Salt and pepper
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 cups chicken stock (or vegetable to make vegetarian)

Heat a medium soup pot over medium high heat. Add 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil to the hot pot, then onion, celery, and garlic. Cook 3 to 4 minutes, then add red peppers and continue to cook. Drain and rinse 2 cans of beans, transfer to a flat-bottomed dish and mash with a potato masher (or fork.) Add mashed beans, plus one can of whole beans (with liquid) to the pot. Season with cumin, coriander, salt and pepper. Add tomatoes, then stock to achieve desired consistency (maybe be more or less than 2 cups.) Add bay leaf and bring soup to a bubble. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes over low heat. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Serve into bowls and add favorite toppings - fresh lime juice, diced avocado or guac, shredded cheese, torilla chips, sour cream...


  1. I have been trying to make this, but with dry beans instead of canned. I have not gotten it right just yet. We will have to try doubling your recipe and just make the beans first, then act they are canned! LOL Did you use just plain black beans or ones with jalapenos?

  2. That sounds like a good idea to do as a two step process with dried beans - overnight soak, then make soup the next day. I used plain old (organic) black beans, but the original recipe linked above also includes a fresh jalapeño and hot sauce for those who like more heat.