Friday, March 5, 2010

Black Bean Soup

I've had this recipe bookmarked as something I wanted to try for over a year now. Ever since a "stock-up" grocery trip last Spring, where I accidentally came home with about 20 cans of black beans. The hunt for black bean recipes began then. I finally got around to making this last night and I LOVED it. Seriously, loved it. I couldn't wait to eat the leftovers today. Now I want to eat it once a week, except that my boys were not fans. In the interest of full disclosure, you should know that they each turned up their noses at it, made some delightful faces accompanied by even more delightful noises to express their displeasure and choose to go hungry rather than eat it. Except for my oldest, who was willing to "down" it with his nose plugged, in order to earn dessert. But don't let my toddler boys dictate your menu, because this stuff is delicious. I have a black bean dip on here with similar flavors that I also love, so it seems that I am a fan of the black bean.

This soup is very simple, quick, and nutritious to boot (Only 125 calories for 1 cup of soup, without toppings)! It's vegetarian, but once you puree it, it has a delightful meaty texture that I simply loved. Also, my husband liked it a lot before I added the lime juice. I thought the lime juice was the best part, so try it before you add the lime juice and add as much as your taste dictates.

Source: Our Best Bites
Feeds: 4

1 T olive oil
4 large cloves garlic, minced
2 medium carrots, diced (about 3/4 c)
1 medium onion, diced
2 cans black beans, rinsed well, and drained
1 3.5 oz. can green chilies (I substituted 1/2 a diced jalapeno since I was out of the canned stuff)
2 cans low sodium beef broth
1 t Kosher salt
1 dash black pepper
1/2 t chili powder
1/4 t cumin
1/4 t ground oregano
1 bay leaf (I omitted this, as we were out)
1 lime
Cilantro (optional)

Desired toppings: sour cream, cheese, tortilla chips, cilantro

1. Saute carrots, celery, onion, and garlic in olive oil, about 4-5 minutes, or until onions are translucent.

2. Add beef broth, rinsed black beans, and canned chilies. Stir to combine and add salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and bay leaf. Simmer for about 20-25 minutes, until carrots are soft.

3. Remove from heat and pull out your bay leaf. Place soup in a blender and puree until smooth. Or, use your handy dandy immersion blender and just puree it right there in the pot. I LOVE my immersion blender. My soup didn't get quite as smooth, but I liked it a little chunkier and meatier. If you'd prefer some chunks in your soup, only puree half of your soup. You're the boss of your soup!

4. Return the soup to the pot and heat it through. Taste at this point and decide if you want to add lime. If you decide that the tangy lime is what makes the soup so perfect (*ahem), then squeeze in the juice from one big lime here. Of course, you could just do 1/2 a lime if you wanted a compromise with your husband... Add some chopped cilantro if you so desire (remember... you're the boss!) and combine.

Serve with desired toppings and Enjoy!

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