During a brief cold stint recently, and by cold I mean upper 60’s, I decided it was time to open the soup floodgates. Cold weather means stews, soups, chowders and chili, all of my favorites! I usually stick to beef stews, corned beef and cabbage and most of all chili, but I decided on black bean soup as I had some dried black beans around.
I read several recipes that say that dry black beans are better than canned beans, especially if you want bacon/ham in your soup, because they develop more flavor since they cook as the soup does. This recipe is sans bacon, but I highly suggest you add that to this recipe.
The recipe that I used as inspiration comes from simply recipes, though I changed around some of the ingredients and removed the meat, as I mentioned. You can definitely change things up, add more spices if you prefer a spicy soup.
Makes about 8 cups
2 cups dry black beans (soaked in cold water the night before)
2 bay leaves
4.5 cups water
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 1/2 large carrots, diced
1 can corn, drained and rinsed
1 large piece celery, chopped, including leaves
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
3 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon chipotle powder
2 cups chicken stock
1 red pepper, chopped
1/2 lemon, juiced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
Remove black beans from water and rinse in colander and medium pot and cover with new water, at least 2 inches above beans. Add the bay leaves and bring to a boil and then lower to to a simmer. Cook for about an hour and a half or until beans are tender and then remove bay leaves.
When beans are 3/4 or so cooked, in a large stock pot or dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, carrots and salt. Cook for about 10-15 minutes, or until veggies are tender.
Reduce heat and cumin, chili powder, garlic, chipotle powder and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Stir well.
Add beans, any remaining liquid, chicken stock, bell pepper and corn. Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Using a hand blender blend the soup slightly, or you can place about 1-2 cups to your blender and blend gently. If using a blender, do it in batches. Add back to soup and serve with avocado, sour cream and cilantro. Enjoy!!