The calendar is reading September, the pumpkin spice latte has arrived and over night lows here in south eastern North Carolina reached 62....that's reason enough for me to cook up my first batch of soup and truly embrace my favorite time of year. For just a few dollars and a few of my tips you too can be making this hearty and delicious soup all season long.
It starts with a few cans of black beans, a quick trip to the grocery store salad bar (like I've talked about here) and some pantry items that have probably been chillin' (no pun intended) in the back of your fridge since Cindo de Mayo.
Black Bean Soup (serves 2-6 depending on appetites!)
- 2 (14oz) cans black beans, drained
- ~ 2 ribs of celery diced
- ~1/2 carrot diced
- 1 small onion, 1/2 diced, 1/2 roughly chopped
- salt & pepper
- 1 tsp cumin
- 2-3 tbsp medium salsa
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
- 1 extra large vegetable boullion cube
- 4 cups water
- two cloves garlic
- 1 lime
- 1/2 bell pepper, any color
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
In a large soup pot heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, carrot and bell pepper and season with salt and pepper. Cook down 5-8 minutes until vegetables begin to soften (but before they begin to brown). Grate in the cloves of garlic and cook an additional minute or two. Add the jalapeno last since heating spicy things tend to make them even spicier, and cook for an additional 2 minutes or so.
Add two cups of water and bring to a boil, then dissolve in boullion cube (you can also substitute 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth). Add in the additional 2 cups of water and the black beans and stir to combine.
Lower the heat to medium low and cover. Simmer for 15 minutes. Using a potato masher go around the pot and break up the beans just a little bit. Stir in the cumin and simmer on low an additional 5-20 minutes, or just another 5 minutes and then heat for about 20 minutes on low, covered before serving. Serve with a dollop of sour cream, shredded cheese, tortilla chips and/or a squeeze of lime.