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With this cold weather I am constantly in the mood for soup – most recently I’ve been obsessed with the Pho from the North Market here in Columbus – but in an attempt to resist going daily I am trying to branch out and get my soup fix at home. This is a dish that I had been craving for a while and I had most of the ingredients at my house already – except the crunchy bread and butter – which I felt was necessary for this soup. I like to eat as many carbs in a meal as possible…I have a problem!

Here’s what you’ll need: black beans, onion, celery, onion, poblano peppers, bay leaf, chipotle peppers in adobo, lime juice, chicken broth or bouillon cubes, cumin, and salt and pepper. (I should add this makes a lot of soup).

First: get your veggie prep out of the way: chop and mince 2 onions, 2 stalks of celery, 2 poblano peppers, and 2 carrots. Try to get all of the veggies to be the same size – we’re going to puree the dish once it’s done – so if they are an odd shape that’s fine – but you want the veggies to be cut the same size so they cook evenly.

Ok – after prepping your veggies get a large soup pot ready – I used my Dutch oven. Heat 2 T. olive oil in the pan and add all of the veggies – sprinkle over 1 t. salt and 1 t. pepper.

Now – this is pretty important – let the vegetables cook for 10-20 minutes until completely tender and slightly browned. I read a few recipes to get some inspiration for this recipe – and I was surprised by a lot of the recipes which said to cook the vegetables for 5 minutes then pour the stock in and simmer for 10 minutes – that’s it. Now – yes – you can do that – but I feel like soup’s need time to simmer – time to meld the flavors together. And caramelized/browned veggies in the beginning are key to a flavorful base. Ok – sorry about that rant. I apparently am very passionate about my soup bases.

Half way through the cooking process – add in 1 t. cumin, 1 bay leaf, and 2 chipotles in adobo. I had some extra chipotles frozen from a chili recipe I made a few weeks ago.

Note: you can add in 1 chipotle if you like – this did not end up being too spicy for me – but then again – we like things spicy. Adjust per your taste. Also – if you like the smoky flavor of the chipotles, but not the heat, you can remove the seeds for the jalapenos.

While the vegetables are browning, drain and rinse the black beans. Check out my giant can of black beans. I found this at the grocery store Marc’s here in Columbus – the entire can was $1.50 – which is a great deal – but it’s a massive amount of beans – 40 ounces. If your store doesn’t have a giant can – then replace with 3, 15 ounce cans.

Add 3 bouillon cubes, 3 cups of water, and the black beans to the Dutch oven. Stir and allow the soup to simmer from anywhere from 20-30 minutes. I left the lid halfway on – in order to let the soup thicken slowly.

The soup should have some liquid – but not enough that the soup should be covered anymore. Before blending add in 1 T. lime juice, optional.

Ok – remove from the heat and take an immersion blender and blend the soup. If you don’t have an immersion blender you can use a food processor or a blender – just go in stages since this makes a lot of soup.

Now it’s time to serve! I served mine with a sprinkle of cilantro – you can top with a dollop of sour cream (which I would have done, but didn’t have any!). I also served this with crusty French bread with butter. Yum! Seriously – this soup is dense, rich, comforting….delicious, smoky, and low fat.

Enjoy!

Black Bean Soup
Serves 6-8
Click here for recipe.

Ingredients:
40 ounces of black beans
2 medium white onions
2 poblano peppers
2 stalks of celery
2 carrots
3 bouillon cubes (or 3 cups of chicken stock)
3 cups water
1 t. cumin
1 bay leaf
1 t. salt
1 t. pepper
2 chipotles in adobo

Optional:
cilantro
sour cream
crusty buttered bread
lime juice

Directions:

  1. Prep the veggie prep out of the way: chop and mince 2 onions, 2 stalks of celery, 2 poblano peppers, and 2 carrots.
  2. Heat 2 T. olive oil in the Dutch oven or soup pot and add all of the veggies – sprinkle over 1 t. salt and 1 t. pepper. Allow the vegetables cook for 10-20 minutes until completely tender and slightly browned.
  3. Half way through the cooking process – add in 1 t. cumin, 1 bay leaf, and 2 chipotles in adobo.
  4. While the vegetables are browning, drain and rinse the black beans. Check out my giant can of black beans.
  5. Add 3 bouillon cubes, 3 cups of water, and the black beans to the Dutch oven. Stir and allow the soup to simmer from anywhere from 20-30 minutes. I left the lid halfway on – in order to let the soup thicken slowly.
  6. The soup should have some liquid – but not enough that the soup should be covered anymore. Optional: add in 1 T. lime juice.
  7. Remove from the heat and take an immersion blender and blend the soup. If you don’t have an immersion blender you can use a food processor or a blender – just go in stages since this makes a lot of soup.
  8. Time to serve – you can top with a dollop of sour cream and cilantro – I also served this with crusty French bread with butter.
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