Sunday, May 6, 2012

Quick & Easy Black Bean Soup for When You Don't Want to Spend Time in the Kitchen and Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

There are times when I like nothing better than to have a soup bubbling the day away on the stove or simmering in a slow cooker, and other times when I want immediate gratification and limited time cooking. I make this black bean soup when I want to be in and out of the kitchen quickly. It takes just a few minutes to throw together using mostly pantry items but tastes great and is a healthy alternative to opening up a can of soup or picking up takeout.

Quick & Easy Black Bean Soup
By Deb, Kahakai Kitchen 
(Makes 4 Generous Servings

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
3 cans low-sodium black beans, drained, rinsed and separated
1 cup chunky salsa (spice level optional)
2 cups low sodium broth of choice
salt to taste
optional toppings like extra salsa, guacamole, cilantro, etc. 

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and saute until tender and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cumin and saute for about 2 minutes more. Meanwhile, put half of the black beans, salsa and broth into a blender and puree until smooth. 

Add broth mixture from blender to the pot with the sauteed onion and garlic, along with the remaining whole black beans and stir to combine. Turn heat up to medium-high and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce  heat and simmer about 10 minutes to allow flavors to blend. Taste and add salt if needed.

Serve in bowls with toppings of choice and enjoy!

Notes/Results: Done in about 20 minutes, creamy and full of flavor--what's not to like? This soup is filling and full of protein, fiber and other nutrients--making it a satisfying light lunch or dinner dish. I usually use a medium heat salsa but you can adjust the heat level with the salsa you choose, as well as add additional hot sauce if needed. You can also puree the entire soup, but I like the whole beans and pieces of onions mixed in the creamy broth. I topped this batch with a little extra salsa, guacamole and a sprinkle of cilantro, but you can top it any way you like. It's great served with tortilla chips, bread or a cheese quesadilla. Easy and perfect when you aren't in the mood to cook.

There are some friends waiting in the Souper Sunday kitchen--let's take a look.

Joanne of Eats Well With Others has a creamy Roasted Asparagus and White Bean Soup to share and says, "But you can see why a big bowl of hot steaming comfort was necessary, right?  Especially when that comfort involve pureed white beans and potatoes, parmesan cheese, and roasted asparagus.  It's the kind of soup that's not life-changing or mountain-moving.  But just good.  In a reliable kind of way.  And after a morning of absurd Saturday subway antics...reliable really is just what you need."

Debbie of Easy Natural Food made this hearty Mexican Hamburger Soup. She says, "It took me a little while to realize that a “Hamburger Soup” isn’t simply the contents of your hamburger in soup-form (lol!), that “hamburger” is simply another name for ground beef. But then again, I grew up calling ground beef “mince.” So now that I have all that straight in my head….I decided to make my own hamburger soup. But I decided to give it a Mexican twist because I had some salsa on hand, and I really REALLY felt like guacamole."

Carol from There's Always Thyme to Cook has a whole Cinco de Mayo feast featuring a Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup and Mexican Black Bean Salad, along with Salsa and Fish Tacos. She says that these dishes are "Just some of my all-time favorites to celebrate Cinco De Mayo. I love a good celebration, maybe not authentic but delicious!" Looks like the perfect way to celebrate. ;-)  

Janet of The Taste Space made a healthy grain salad Quinoa with Caramelized Onions and Zucchini. She says, "Legend has it that the Inca army subsisted partially on quinoa, and I see no better way to trek through the Colombian jungles. It is no secret that it is one of my favourite (pseudo)grains. In honour of quinoa, here is a simple yet delicious salad.  I honestly wasn’t expecting much from such a humble set of ingredients, but they worked so well together. Zucchini and thinly sliced onions are slowly pan-fried with thyme to create a lovely caramelized duo."

Finally, Heather of girlichef has a Prosciutto, Parmesan & Arugula Sandwich inspired by the movie Sideways. Heather says, "...nestled inside my picnic basket would be this sandwich wrapped in wax paper.  Soft little ciabatta rolls filled with airy holes sandwiched around salty, seductive prosciutto and thin, pungent slices of parmesan all topped off with some peppery baby arugula and the earthy, muskiness of truffle oil."  

Lovely dishes this week--thanks to everyone who joined in. If you have a soup, salad, or sandwich that you would like to share--just click on the Souper Sundays logo on my side bar for all of the details.

 ***Cookbook and Apron Giveaway: If you are in the U.S. or Canada, you will want to enter my giveaway for a copy of a great cookbook: FoodTrients: Age-Defying Recipes for a Sustainable Life by Grace O and a fun FoodTrients apron. Details for entering and my review of the book are here.

Have a happy, healthy week!


  1. I love black bean soup! And I like it even better when it's easy. Looks delicious, especially with the toppings, I'll definitely try your recipe.

  2. I used to make a similar soup while in university.. brings back great memories! I preferred it partially pureed, actually. Another great round-up of soups and salads this week. Way to go! :)

  3. Yes, that is the way I like it too. I just leave half of the beans whole, along with the onions,  for that creamy but solid feeling--and then top with some salsa,  but you could leave some of the salsa intact too. It's a very simple soup I have been making for ages but it never seems to end up on the blog. ;-)

  4.  This one is very easy--perfect for those nights when you don't want to do much cooking. ;-)

  5. Black bean soup is always tasty and satisfying, and there's definitely something to be said for quick and easy! Besides, I'm a sucker for anything with guacamole in it!

  6. There are definitely days where I don't want to cook, I just want food to appear in front of me. And this is PERFECT for those!  Win.  I love that people are still making even though the weather's getting warmer. DOUBLE win!

  7. Oh, I'm bookmarking this soup to make - it looks wonderful. I'm thinking that mound of goodness in the middle and the chips for scooping are what sold me! =)


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