Black Bean Soup

Black Bean Soup

Monday night, I made an old recipe for me, that is new to my family. It is a recipe for Black Bean Soup that was copied from the New York Times, given to me by a friend from work…about 16 years ago. I remember making it then, and loving it. I have made it since, but not for a very, very long time.

It also helped me rise to the challenge that my niece set out for me. “How about a vegan recipe,” she said. Well, this one is vegan. It is also healthy and filling, and is based on a recipe from Rancho La Puerta, a well known spa on the Baja peninsula in Mexico.

J said she liked the “broth”. There was no broth, just pureed beans and vegetables (note to self: puree a little extra for her next time). L liked it so much that she asked for it in her lunch box for Tuesday. I served it with the fresh organic whole wheat bread that I got for free at our local supermarket, which is having a promotion.

I had the recipe stashed in a recipe box. It is a definite keeper and I won’t wait 16 years to make it again. The recipe makes about 6 hearty servings. We had two left as of Monday night. Tuesday….they were gone. I think I’ll double the recipe and freeze half next time.

The original recipe assumes that you are using some time saving conveniences (like jar-packed minced garlic). I don’t typically use these. Also, I’m not sure why recipes say, “two cups chopped canned tomatoes”, when a can is 14.5 ounces. Then, again, the recipe says 16 oz. cans of beans, and those are now 15 oz.

Did the size of cans go down in the last few years?

The recipe below is adapted to my way of preparing the soup, with current can sizes!

Black Bean Soup
adapted from, The New York Times

serves 6

1 med-large onion (yellow or red), chopped
2 large ribs celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 cans (15 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed
6 cups water
1 can (14.5 oz.) chopped tomatoes, with juices
1 large green pepper, 1/2 inch dice
1 carrot, 1/2 inch dice
4 scallions, white and 3/4 of green part, chopped (mine were small, I used 6)
1/2 to 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (I used 1/2 – it was not spicy at all)
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano, rubbed
1 bay leaf

freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro, for serving

In a large pot, combine the beans, water, tomatoes, green pepper, carrot, jalapeno, cumin, oregano and bay leaf. Put over medium heat and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer for about 5-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, saute the onion, celery and garlic in the olive oil in a non-stick skillet until the onion begins to soften and brown. Add to the pot with the beans, etc., and continue to cook, at a simmer, for 10 minutes more. Remove from the heat.

Pour 4 cups of the soup (more if you want more “broth”) into the carafe of a blender or food processor. Puree. Pour the puree back into the pot with the rest of the soup.

Return to a simmer for another 2-3 minutes. Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper (I used about 1/2 tsp.) and sea salt (I used about 1/2 tsp.).

To serve, ladle into bowls and garnish with the cilantro.

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5 thoughts on “Black Bean Soup

  1. The whole family (hubbie, 8 year old and 6 year olds) loved the bean soup and fresh bread. Both were easy to make and absolutely delicious! Thanks for the new standards in our repertoire. I’m back fishing for ideas again for this week.

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