“Writing is a lot like making soup. My subconscious cooks the idea, but I have to sit down at the computer to pour it out.”—Robin Wells
Are you kidding me? It was week filled with single digit temperatures. In spite of the fact we were burning a fire in our wood-burning stove and our thermostat was set of 62F degrees, the heater was still kicking on. Of course, much of that had to do with the fact that we have a long ranch-style house, so the heat was unable to warm the entire length of our house. Brrr . . .
Below freezing weather calls for a hearty soup to warm the soul!
It seemed like a perfect week for soup! Black bean soup to be specific. Soup is not something we make year round. In fact, I go months without making it. However, nothing tastes better or seems to make the house feel warmer, than homemade soup cooking in the Crockpot!
Nothing like the smell of homemade soup simmering in a Crockpot . . . .
I used to make black bean soup from dried beans, but as a multi-tasker when it comes to the various roles/jobs I juggle, time often slips away from me quickly. Therefore, I opt for healthy short cuts when I can. Thus, using rinsed canned beans works just as well for me when it comes to using beans in soups and chili.
Drained and rinsed canned black beans & Mexi-corn.
This recipe is one of my favorites. It is a combination of several recipes I’ve tried over the years. All that past trial and error with black bean soup variations have informed the recipe-creation found below. It is beautiful combination of colors, flavors, and textures. Even my daughter, who is a very picky eater, likes this recipe because it is so similar to black bean chili.
You can serve this soup straight up in a bowl. It makes a super, or should I say, “souper,” dip into which to sink warm tortillas. However, it is also good to use when making nachos. In fact, this is my daughter’s favorite way in which to eat it. Additionally, you could use drained spoonfuls of it to create burritos, tacos, or enchiladas. Specifically, I have used leftovers of this soup to create a baked enchilada casserole. For cornbread lovers, this soup is great ladled over a crumbled up square, or two, of cornbread.
Regardless of how you serve it, this black bean soup is, well, “souper” delicious! (Once again, I could not resist the chance to be punny!) It is versatile enough, so that whether or not you are serving a large family, or just cooking for two, the leftovers won’t go to waste. Plus, it freezes a well—another bonus! Additionally, it makes a great meatless meal for Lent, Meatless Monday, or any other time you would like to take a break from meat, but still want a hearty meal. Try this recipe out any time you want your body and soul warmed!
From my home to yours, I wish you healthy, happy, homemade meals.
Hearty Black Bean Soup
2-tablespoon olive oil (Can be made oil free and instead sauté vegetables in 2-tablespoons of broth.)
1 onion, diced (about 1 cup)
3 large cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
2 large bell peppers, preferably 1 green plus 1 of another color
1 stalk of celery, chopped
1 medium carrot, sliced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1-tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon red pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
4 cups vegetable broth
4 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, drained
1 can (15 ounce) Mexican or whole kernel corn
1 can (14.5 ounce) tomatoes
2 cups frozen chopped spinach
Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat.
Sauté onion, celery, carrots, and garlic for 5 minutes or until soft and onion translucent.
Stir in seasonings and cook for another minute or so.
Stir in broth, 2 cans of beans, and corn. Allow to simmer.
Meanwhile, in food processor or blender, process 2 cans of beans and tomatoes until smooth.
Stir into soup in mixture.
Stir in spinach.
Stir to boiling, reduce heat to medium and allow to simmer for 15 minutes; or, transfer soup into Crockpot and allow to simmer for several hours on low.
Makes 8 generous servings.
Serve with lime wedges to squeeze over soup once dished.
Leftover can be frozen for later dinners.