Sunday, February 10, 2013

Comforting Black Bean & Vegetable Soup with Tangy Avocado-Cashew Cream for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

I had severe soup envy last week. Or maybe severe soup topping envy is more accurate. My Creamy Red Lentil Soup was fine but, it was the Avocado Cream Topping piled on top of Joanne's Chipotle Black Bean Soup that had me drooling. Yes, I wanted that avocado cream a lot--not that black bean soup didn't sound like an excellent foundation for all that avocado goodness. 

Rather than having spicy black bean soup on my sore throat, I just made my own version of soup with lots of cumin and a little shot of cayenne, and added lots of veggies that were starting to edge past their prime in my fridge. For the avocado cream, I used the Campbell's recipe from Joanne's post as a base but made mine a dairy-free version with cashew cream instead of yogurt, as well as upped the lime juice a bit for a tangier profile. Thanks to Joanne for what turned out to be one of my favorite soups of late--this hearty Black Bean & Vegetable Soup with Tangy Avocado-Cashew Cream.

Black Bean & Vegetable Soup
by Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Makes about 8 large servings)

1 Tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large russet potato, diced
8 cups veggie broth or water (I used 1/2 no-chicken broth 1/2 water)
4 cups cooked black beans (or about 3-4 cans), rinsed and drained
1 can diced fire roasted tomatoes 
1 Tbsp ground cumin, or to taste
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
salt and black pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a large soup pot. Add onions, carrots, celery and garlic and cook about 5-6 minutes, until just tender. Add potato, veggie broth, beans, tomatoes, cumin and cayenne to pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Remove about 4 cups of soup and puree in blender. Stir back into pot, taste and season as desired with sea salt and black pepper. Serve in bowls topped with Avocado-Cashew Cream (recipe below).

Avocado-Cashew Cream
Adapted from Campbell's Kitchen via Eats Well With Others

1 ripe avocado
1/3 cup cashew cream (recipe here)
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice or to taste
sea salt to taste

Combine  avocado, cashew cream cilantro and lime juice in the bowl of a food processor and blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt. 

Notes/Results: Such a great bowl of satisfying comfort food. The cumin-spiced broth was slightly smoky, and the tangy avocado cream was the perfect topping to add some brightness. This soup even passed the "house guest test"--my brother and his wife really enjoyed it with tortilla chips, guacamole and salsa after a long day of exploring the island. I will definitely make both  the soup and the topping again.

There is more soup inspiration waiting in the Souper Sundays kitchen--let's take a look.

It's been a while since we have had Shaheen from Allotment2Kitchen here at Souper Sundays and it's great to have her back with this flavorful Butternut Squash, Chilli and Coriander Soup. She says, "...the weather being rather icy, I could do with some soup to warm my up from my head to my wiggly cold toes.    A sweet butternut squash enhanced by my two favourite flavours: chilli and coriander.  Yum.  These were served with home-made chunky crunchy croutons.

My pal Heather of girlichef is here with this comforting Chicken & Vegetable Soup with Pasta and says, "You'd think soup was going out of style the way I've been consuming it lately.  But we know better. Soup is timeless. Vegetables and proteins, however?  They're not.  Timeless, that is.  They go bad.  Which is another great thing about soup - it's ability to take in all of those extras hanging out in your fridge.  And your pantry.  Have a couple of carrots looking lonely?  Maybe a random bunch of kale hanging out in the crisper?  I know you have half-used packages of pasta hanging out. Sounds like dinner to me."

The wonderful Foodycat is here with this chunky Smoked Salmon Chowder and says, "This delicious - and surprisingly light - soup was inspired by Mary's Gold Beach Winter Chowder. I don't even know what shoepeg corn is, and I made a few other changes, but it conveys the same sense of warming, nourishing generosity and colour to make your heart sing that hers did."

Lydia B. of The Auld Grey Mare is back again this week bringing a savory Butternut Beef Curry Soup. She says, "I pulled down a jar of homemade broth from the freezer, and as it thawed, realized this was definitely beef broth, and not the roasted chicken broth I'd meant to grab (note to self: freezer labels are our friend!).  So, ok, rich beef broth isn't going to go with a light sweet soup - but maybe some curry flavorings would work. Well - it does! In fact, it reminded me a lot of one of my unhealthy indulgences (which I mostly avoid) - Japanese curry..."

And last but certainly not least is Janet of The Taste Space with Better Than Chicken Soup (Miso Curry Squash and Chickpea Soup). Janet says, "This is a great soup to soothe the soul, be it from unforeseen craziness or the howling winter winds. Definitely better than chicken soup.I rechristened it with a more descriptive name: miso curry squash and chickpea soup. A broth spiced with black mustard seeds, turmeric, garlic and ginger, along with miso and kombu. Chunks of winter squash (golden nugget was my choice this time), shiitake mushrooms and chickpeas fill your bowl with goodness."

Thanks to everyone who joined in with their wonderful soups this week. If you have a soup (or salad, or sandwich) that you would like to share, just click on the Souper Sundays logo on the side bar for all of the details.

Have a happy, healthy week!


  1. I always get soup envy after going through each week's round-up... everyone has such tasty soups. That's why I love blogging! :)

  2. Avocado cream is just what you need when you are feeling poorly!

  3. Aww I'm so glad i could inspire this soup! I need to try the vegan avocado looks delicious!

  4. How sad is it that I checked here first to see if I had an entry last week! I think I do this week!


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