Sunday, April 24, 2016

Spicy Black Bean Soup with Cashew Cream, Red Pepper & Avocado for Souper Sundays and IHCC

This week at I Heart Cooking Clubs our theme is "Something to Eat on the Sofa"--Curtis Stone recipes suitable for couch eating. In my mind (and life), there are few things that I don't or won't eat on the sofa ;-) so this theme is pretty wide open. Having had house guests all week, I was looking for an easy and quick-to-make soup and Curtis did not let me down. I was going to make his quick curry noodles but since I had made kalua pork tacos for my sister and brother-in-law while they were visiting, I had leftover taco fixings and I thought they would make excellent additions to Curtis's Spicy Black Bean Soup

I made a few small changes to make this soup dairy-free and vegan and to use what I had on hand. (My changes are noted in red below.)

Spicy Black Bean Soup with Crème Fraîche
Adapted Slightly from
(Serves 4)

1 Tbsp olive oil (I used coconut oil)
1 shallot, coarsely chopped (I used 1/2 small sweet onion)
1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
1 red jalapeño chile, seeded, chopped
1/2 tsp ground cumin (I used 3/4 tsp)
2 cups cooked black beans (I used 2 cans + 1/3 cup separated)
2 cups chicken stock (I used veggie stock)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup crème fraîche (I used cashew cream with a pinch of salt and lime juice added)
1/2 small red bell pepper, seeded, finely diced
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
(I added diced avocado, lime slices and corn tortillas toasted on the gas stove to garnish)
Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the oil and shallot and sauté for 1 minute, or until tender. Add the garlic, jalapeño, and cumin and sauté for 1 minute, or until the garlic softens. Add the beans and stock and bring to the simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes to blend the flavors. 

In a blender, working in batches, puree the soup until smooth. Transfer the pureed soup to a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. (I added in 1/3 cup of cooked black beans here for texture.) Season the soup to taste with salt, pepper, and lime juice.

Ladle the soup into serving bowls, drizzle some crème fraîche (cashew cream) over the soup, garnish with the red bell pepper and cilantro (and other toppings as desired), and serve.

Notes/Results: A nice, simple black bean soup with just a hint of heat. I liked it the way it turned out but if you want something with more kick, I would add more jalapeño or add cayenne to the mix. I did add extra cumin because I love it. Since the base is so simple, I thin the toppings make the soup a bit more special. I liked the contrast of the sweet crunchy red bell pepper in the recipe and the bites of rich, creamy avocado that I added. Along with the cilantro and cashew cream (or crème fraîche from the recipe) and the grilled corn tortillas, it made for a satisfying couch dinner. I would make it again.

This post is linking up to the "Something to Eat on the Sofa" theme post at IHCC. You can see what couch-friendly dishes everyone made by checking out the picture links on the post.

Tina of Squirrel Head Manor joined me with an Orzo Salad with Tomato, Feta, and Basil for Souper (Soup, Salad, & Sammie) Sundays this week. She says, "There is something about a salad chock full of carbs, leafy greens, tangy feta cheese and fat grape tomatoes that commands attention. Here is another of Curtis Stone's recipes that we loved."

Yep, if you hadn't noticed, Souper Sundays is back with a new format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads or sandwiches and then a recap of (some, OK usually all of...) the entries on the following week  (If you are not familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.)
Thanks to Tina  for linking up this past week!

If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:
  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month but we'll take older posts too.) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you.
On your entry post (on your blog):
  • please mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post.
  • you are welcome to add the wonderful Souper Sundays logo (created by Ivy at Kopiaste) to your post and/or blog (optional). 

Have a happy, healthy week!


  1. The toppings on your soup look very inviting and fresh.

  2. I think black bean soups are always looking a bit boring, but your solution makes the soup appetising.

    1. Yes, I agree--black bean soups usually need a little 'prettying up!' ;-)

  3. I love everything in this soup. I have a can of black beans in my pantry. Gotta try making this soup. :)

  4. Your substitutions always make me think. I am intrigued how you used
    cashew cream instead of crème fraîche and added avocado for more creaminess. They work well!

    1. Thanks Flour.ish.en--I find the process of finding things to sub so I can eat the dish or use up what I have, while still keeping similar taste and enjoyment to be one of my favorite parts of cooking. ;-)

  5. I never thought about topping the soup with avocado and peppers, it looks wonderful. I can really tuck into a bowl of black bean soup!

    1. Toppings always help live things up and I find they are usually my favorite part of the soup Tina! ;-)

  6. Those toppings would liven up any soup but sound especially delicious with black bean. I do like that you added some whole beans to the pureed soup for texture.

    1. Thanks Zosia! I like to have some whole beans in the mix--with the toppings stirred in, it makes a pureed soup feel like more of a meal sometimes. ;-)

  7. Hi Deb,
    I like seeing all the different varieties of soups that you've made! You are a "soup queen"! :)
    The crisp fresh topping looks perfect with the creamy black bean soup!

    1. Thanks Joyce! And, thanks for linking up your noodle bowl this week! ;-)

  8. Looks like the perfect sofa meal to me.

  9. Deb, that's a great looking soup - I'm a big lover of a hearty bean soup. This is also a really great way to use up some leftovers and I think your toppings make it very special. I could easily see myself on a Sunday night, in my PJs, curled up on the sofa with a bowl of this.
    Running late, but I did manage to sneak in a a bowlful inspired by Curtis' Quick Curry Noodle Soup. Thanks for hosting xo


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