April 9, 2018
This is about...
black bean soup 6414.png
        If you’re one of those people that leans towards VEGETARIAN OR VEGAN, YOU EAT A LOT OF BEANS. Although, I’ve cooked many beans “from scratch,” ---from their dried state-- it’s time consuming and, sometimes, depending on the age of the beans, they never even soften for you. SO, I ALWAYS REACH FOR THE CANNED ONES now, which lets you make a hearty soup in about 30 minutes.
        This one is PACKED WITH FLAVOR. Garlic, onions, jalepeno and bell peppers, as well as a healthy dose of cumin and coriander to bring it all together. A light saute of the veggies is all that’s needed. Then, just dump the rest of the ingredients in the pot, simmer for 20 minutes and you’ve got dinner. You can choose to make it creamy, by blending it, or keep it chunky, or anywhere in between.
        Now even though canned beans are my favorite for this soup, not all canned beans are created equal. YOU WANT TO MAKE SURE THEY ARE BPA-FREE —BPA is short for bisphenol A which is the main ingredient in epoxy resins found in the linings of cans used to extend their shelf life. This dangerous chemical has been linked to a lot of health conditions, and not something that any of us should have in our food. So, steer clear, and look for Eden or Westbrae brands. Plus, I prefer unsalted beans. That way I can control the sodium level.
        This soup can be completely vegan garnished with avocado, minced red pepper, red onion and some fresh coriander leaves, Or if you’re into dairy and meat, serve it topped with sour cream, Monterey jack cheese or even some crumbled bacon would be delicious. Plus, I’d never turn down some homemade cornbread on the side.

LESSONS Learned:
1. Buy BPA-free canned beans, and tomato sauce too—Muir Glen tomato products are also BPA-free.
2. This is so easy, that’s it.


2 Tab olive oil
1 medium onion ¼ inch dice, about 2 cups
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 rib celery, ¼ inch dice
½ large red bell pepper, ¼ inch dice
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed, finely diced
2 15 ounce cans black beans, drained
2 cups vegetable stock
½ cup tomato sauce
2 cups water
½-1 teaspoon salt
finely diced red bell pepper or jalepeno, or red onion
fresh cilantro leaves, sour cream, avocado, crumbled bacon

Make the soup:
        In a large heavy pot, over medium heat, heat the oil and add the onion, garlic, celery, and red bell pepper with a pinch of Kosher salt. Stir until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the cumin, coriander and jalepeno. Stir to coat the vegetables and cook the spices until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients, stir to combine and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer, cover and cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
        If you like, blend all or some of the soup in batches to make it creamy. I like blending about half of it, so that there’s still some chunky texture. Top with garnishes, if desired. This is easily frozen or can be stored on the fridge for up to 4 days.

Makes 4 servings.      YUM!
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