I'm convinced that there is no wrong way to make a soup. I rarely start out with a clear intention in mind but as I start chopping and picking ingredients out of the fridge my vision starts to come together. I often post my soup recipes so I have a rough guideline to follow the next time I'm craving the main ingredient i.e black beans, lentils, chick peas, etc... yet I rarely follow a recipe exactly as it's more important to me to use up what is available and fresh in my fridge. This latest creation was warming and full flavored, a perfect rainy day soup. I experimented with pureeing it halfway down and then adding whole black beans and also pureeing the whole thing then adding more beans and both were delicious. The consistency will be entirely up to you as I think it works any way you choose.
Spicy Black Bean Soup
3 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 celery rib, diced
1 carrot, diced
2 tsp cumin
1 large jalapeño or serrano pepper, diced
1 4oz can green chilies
2 1/2 cups plus 1 cup of cooked black beans
1/2 small can tomato paste
1 tsp cayenne
1 bay leaf
4 cups of water or vegetable stock
juice of 1/2 lime
handful cilantro, chopped
sea salt and fresh pepper
1 cup frozen corn (optional)
1) Warm olive oil in a large soup pot over medium high heat. Add onions, carrots, celery, garlic and cumin and saute until onions are translucent.
2) Add hot peppers and chilies and stir together for 2 minutes.
3) Add 2 1/2 cups of black beans, tomato paste, cayenne, water or vegetable stock and bay leaf.
4) Bring to a light boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30-45 minutes.
5) Remove bay leaf. Add lime, salt, pepper and cilantro.
6) Puree according to preferred consistency. Add remaining cup of cooked beans and corn (if using) and simmer for another few minutes.
7) Serve with chopped green onions and tortilla chips.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes to 1 hour
Servings: 4 hearty bowls
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