Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Soup-er Easy Black Bean Soup

I have made black bean soup a number of times, and always always love it no matter what the variation. Some have pumpkin. Some have apple cider. Some are spicy with chiles, some are rich with cumin and lots of hearty vegetables. Some are vegetarian, others are meaty, some are more like chili or stew than soup. But always always I've cooked my own beans. How else to make soup "from scratch"? Using canned beans is like "making dessert" by spooning instant pudding into a pre-made crust and calling it "pie."

So the first thing I said after taking a bite of this soup was, "It actually tastes good!?" Not because I thought it wouldn't taste good, I'll eat beans straight from the can and think they taste good. But because I hadn't researched or reviewed any recipes in advance, because I hadn't planned, and organized ingredients, because I opened a can for the main component, and because it was ready to eat in about 30 minutes included chopping time, I was very very surprised that this soup tasted like homemade, enough so that I wanted to get the recipe written down, and posted to share.

Delicious soup from (gasp!) canned beans.

Black Bean Soup
Serves 2
1/2 cup chopped onion
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1 can black beans, rinsed (I prefer lower-salt, especially because your broth might be salty)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, ground (or 1 teaspoon ground cumin)
1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried oregano
cayenne pepper to taste
2 cups stock (vegetable or chicken)
top with jalepeno slices and shredded pepper jack cheese

Saute the onion and garlic in oil over medium heat about 6 minutes. Stir in carrot and saute about 3 minutes. Add beans, seasonings, and stock and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer about 15 minutes. Use an immersion blender to puree soup to desired consistency, adding more stock to thin if necesssary. Serve, topped with your favorite accompaniments: shredded cheese, sour cream or yogurt, jalepenos, chopped cilantro.

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