Sunday, October 19, 2008

Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup For My New Initiative: "Souper Sundays"

It occurred to me as I was about to make a slow cooker full of black bean soup that a good percentage of the recipes I have marked in cook books or put in my magazine cut out pile lately are for soup. I love soup--the different flavors, textures and how it is comfort in a bowl. Since fall is here (which just means a slight temperature drop and a tad more cloudy skies here--but I can still think about Fall!), my cravings for soup increase. Because of this I have decided to start "Souper Sundays" where for the next few months at least, I will make a weekly batch of soup and post it on Sundays. (It makes great lunches for the week). The recipes will be from cookbooks, magazines and my own "throw it together" creations. Anyone is welcome to join me in making soup for fall (or spring if you are reading this from the other side of the world). Soups, stews, chili (even "stroups" for you Rachel Ray fans) all count as soup in my book. You don't have to actually make it on Sunday but that's the day I am going to post. Very informal and casual--pop in whenever you want and if you send me a link to your soup post, I'll link to it from mine.

For my first Souper Sunday post, I am starting with Black Bean Soup from Fresh From The Vegetarian Slow Cooker by Robin Robertson. (I posted a few of the recipes from her Carb Conscious Vegetarian cookbook here, here and here). I have made this soup recipe before (pre-blog) and like the ease of throwing it all into the slow cooker as well as the combo of flavors in it. It also is pretty healthy and economical to make.

Black Bean Soup
Fresh From The Vegetarian Slow Cooker by Robin Robertson
Serves 4-6
-----
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium-size yellow onion, chopped
1 medium size carrot, chopped
1/2 small green pepper, seeded and minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups cooked black beans or two 15.5-ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed
one 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, left undrained
4 cups vegetable stock
2 bay leaves
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp fresh lemon juice (optional)
-----
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, bell pepper, and garlic, cover, and cook until softened , about 5 minutes. Transfer the cooked vegetables to a 4-6 quart slow cooker, add the beans, tomatoes and their juice, stock, bay leaves, cumin, thyme, and cayenne, and season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Remove and discard the bay leaf and taste to adjust the seasonings.
To thicken, puree at least two cups or up to one half of the soup solids with an immersion blender used right in the cooker, or ladled into a regular blender or food processor and returned to the cooker. Serve hot. Just before serving, stir in the lemon juice, if using.


Notes/Results: I made just a couple of changes--I used a red pepper as I prefer them to green peppers, fire roasted diced tomatoes and a 1/2 tsp of chipotle chili powder in place of the cayenne pepper. I also squeeze in a bit of lime juice before serving rather than the lemon juice in the recipe. (BTW--the giant bay leaves you see are the ones from the Farmer's Market). You can leave the soup as is but pureeing half of it really enhances the texture. And if you don't have an immersion blender put it on your Birthday or Christmas list, mine is one of my favorite kitchen and soup making tools. I like to serve this soup with some cheese, avocado chunks, a bit of cilantro and one of my favorite chips.
These are a gluten-free rice chip made by Lundberg Family Farms and they come in assorted flavors but my favorite is the Fiesta Lime. They are great crumbled in the soup. This soup is excellent as is or if you wanted to add some protein, you could put in some shredded chicken, turkey or some turkey sausage.

Next Souper Sunday, I'll be cooking the Tuscan White Bean and Garlic Soup from the newly published Giada's Kitchen. Come join me with a soup you love or having been wanting to try.

11 comments:

K and S said...

sounds delicious, does it taste similar to the soup at CPK?

Prudy said...

I love the souper sunday idea. Soup is the ultimate food in my book. If I wasn't feeding a man dinner everynight, I think I honestly might slip into a soup and cookie rut that would last the rest of my days. This one sounds so yummy...

Teresa Cordero Cordell said...

Hi Deb. How's everything in beautiful Hawaii? Thanks for stopping by. Hey, I love beans. I've never been that big a fan of black beans but I bet you your recipe would be almost as good (for me) with pinto beans. What do you think? Soup is so good at this time of the year. Bean soup sounds delicious. Great post sweetie. Hugs.

Stephanie said...

qI love soup! And I have her vegetarian sandwiches book, which I used a great deal during the summer.

I may just have to join you on Souper Sundays!

Natashya said...

I picked up this book on your recommendation, this looks like a great soup for my veggie girl. Bean soups are so satisfying and the slow cooker is the ultimate fall/winter appliance.
Souper Sundays is a great idea - I shall play along with you as often as I can.

Debinhawaii said...

Kat--you know I always get the pea barley soup and haven't tried a black bean there so I am not sure but it is good!

Prudy--hope you drop by and visit--stews and chilis are always welcome!

Teresa--things are good! I think it would work equally well with pinto beans--hmm or maybe I'll find another pinto recipe to make!

Stephanie--I hope you make it for some Souper Sundays. I haven't seen the sandwich book but I sure like the two I have from her!

Natashya--I hope you like the book and look forward to sahring some soup with you! ;-)

Andrea said...

This is my favorite black bean soup recipe! I love your Souper Sundays idea, how fun! I love soup but don't make it nearly as much as I should, I just always forget about soup, even though we all love it. I'll see what I can come up with :)

Rachel said...

Souper Sundays sounds great and I will try to play along. Your black bean soup recipe sounds great and I plan to pop it in the crock soon!

Rachel said...

So I made up a batch of your soup and it was welcome on a cool and drizzly day. I have also taken your suggestion to heart about hinting for an immersion blender for Christmas as I not only had the bottom of the blender unscrew itself slightly and leak out much of my first batch all over the counter, but then the lid tried to blow off the top during my second batch when I overfilled it. I avoided serious cooking injury, but the kitchen atmosphere was quite "blue" from all my utterances.

Debinhawaii said...

Andrea--this one is a good one isn't it?! Can't wait to see your soup!

Rachel--Glad you liked it! Also glad you wern't hurt. You NEED the immersion blender--soups, sauces, better language in the kitchen--you will love it I promise!

Debbie said...

And...I can't wait for your new logo! Here is my link for the 11th

http://ahhhsomesoups.blogspot.com/