Sunday, June 2, 2013

Super Easy Black Bean Soup

Black Bean Soup
Ah Sunday. Sundays are a bit hectic and a little bit of a cheat day every week (even if we've already had one). We usually have coffee and snacks for the choir and band between church services. Usually someone brings a lot of yummy, sugar-laiden treats, and possibly some fruit. Today I got to bring the snacks so we had a variety of bagels and cream cheese, and grapes. I had a cheese bagel and cream cheese, and creamer in my coffee. So, yeah, not quite up to par, but my only cheat for the day. We had Chipotle for lunch -- sofritos (tofu) salad bowl with brown rice, black beans, grilled peppers and onions, salsa -- delish! For dinner I made this delightful black bean soup, which we will be eating twice more this week.

I love black bean's thick and bean-y and delicious. Usually it's also bacon-y...mmm...bacon. But alas all that bacon is behind me and I have found a pretty delicious black bean soup recipe sans the meat-candy. It's from a show called "Let's Dish" on The Live Well Network. It's not a show I watch very often but I was fortunate to catch this episode. I immediately looked up the recipe and this super easy black bean soup has become our go-to. Even today when it is 100 degrees outside I am making it because we love it and it is good for you!

You can find the recipe here, but I'll share my modified version.

Black Bean Soup
2 cups diced onions
2 Tablespoons canola oil  -- I just used enough to coat the bottom of the pot
2 green bell peppers, diced
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 28 oz. can black beans
2 15 oz. cans refried black beans
12 oz. vegetable broth
1 15 oz. can petite diced tomatoes
10 oz. cooked brown rice -- I used the microwave kind from Trader Joe's
1 Tablespoon chile powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaf

In a large saucepan, brown onions and bell peppers in oil over medium high heat (about 10 minutes). Add garlic and spices and cook for another minute. Adding the spices here will intensify the flavor, so if you'd like it a little milder just add them after the garlic with the rest of the ingredients. Add remaining ingredients and warm through. You can let it simmer for awhile till it thickens up a bit. Taste for seasoning and serve with whatever garnishes you like on top -- tomatoes, cilantro, avocados, lime, cheese, sour cream.

I did try my hand at making black beans myself instead of using canned. They came out perfectly and were super easy to make, just a little time consuming. Also if you can't find refried black beans you can just refry them yourself, and this way you leave out much of the fat that is added. I simply heat and mash. You're really only adding them to thicken the soup so the extra oil is unnecessary.

If you try this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out!

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Look it up!