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
Black Bean Soup
Fresh From The Vegetarian Slow Cooker by Robin Robertson
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.