I found a recipe a few months ago for a black bean soup that I have been so excited to try for ‘bean’ month. It did not dissapoint! I changed a few parts of the recipe and think I have come up with the perfect black bean soup. I have had dried black beans in my food storage for as long as I can remember, but I have never cooked black beans from their dried form until yesterday. They actually cooked up more quickly than my pinto or white beans. They are one of the smallest beans, so they cook up really quickly. I boiled my dried black beans for a little over an hour and they were tender and ready to be used in my soup.
The other great aspect of this soup is it is extremely healthy for you! There is very little fat in this recipe, it is filled with fiber and vitamins from the beans, and is one of those rare recipes that don’t call for any meat. I am a far cry from being a vegetarian, but every now and then I love making recipes that are meatless and yet, still satisfying. This soup was very filling and despite my children being a little nervous about the dark black color of this soup, they ended up each eating a second bowl and loving it!
Here is the recipe (as best I can remember from what I did…when in doubt, add more seasonings and chicken broth until it is to your desired liking) Once again, this recipe makes a lot so you can freeze the extras for later or 1/2 the recipe.
- 5 c. dried beans or 7-8 canned black beans
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 onion, cut into large chunks
- 1 c. carrots (I used baby carrots)
- 1 green bell pepper, cut into fourths
- 1 jalapeno pepper, cut in half and seeded
- 10-12 c. of chicken broth (or water plus chicken base or bouillon)
- 1 (16oz.) jar red or green salsa
- 2 cans diced green chilies
- 1 large red or white onion, diced
- 1 red, green or orange bell pepper, diced and seeded
- 3 long stalks of celery, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cube of butter
- Montreal steak seasoning (about 1 T.)
- 2 T. cumin
- 1 T. chili powder
- 2-3 t. garlic powder
- 1 t. red pepper flakes (more or less depending on how spicy you like it)
- 1-2 T. salt (may need a little more when finished)
- 1 T. black pepper
- Rinse the black beans in a strainer until all of the dirt and dust have been rinsed off. Place the five cups of black beans into a very large soup pot and fill a few inches from the top with water. Add the garlic, onion, carrots and bell pepper to the water and beans. Heat water and beans to a rolling boil and let boil for up to one and a half hours (or longer depending how old your beans are). Make sure you keep an eye on the pot and extra water as needed so the beans don't burn--keep them covered with several inches of water so they don't dry out. Once the beans are tender, drain most of the water from the pot, but leave the vegetables in with the beans. Remove half of the beans from the pot and place in a food processor or blender. Blend half of the beans into a puree and leave the other half as whole beans. Spoon out the large chunks of vegetables and add in with the beans that are being pureed until smooth. Add the pureed beans back to the pot, turn down the heat on the stove to low and add the rest of the ingredients.
- If you do not want to use dried beans and do the above method, use 7 cans of black beans that have been drained.
- To the beans in the pot, add the chicken broth, salsa and green chilies. Let these items simmer with the beans.
- Dice the bell peppers, onion, celery into small pieces. In a seperate saute pan, add these vegetables with the butter and saute until tender. Once they are tender, add these vegetables to the bean soup. Add the seasonings to the soup.
- Diced tomatoes, chopped cilantro, diced green onions, sour cream, shredded cheese, sliced avocado and tortilla chips. Squeeze another bit of lime on top of your bowl of soup if you would like.