Every time we transition from fall into the shorter, darker days of winter, my body craves soup. It doesn’t even matter what kind of soup it is, as long as it’s hot, mostly healthy and definitely soulful.
Soup for the Soul
Most of my favorite soup recipes were passed down to me from my maternal grandmother, but there is one soup that I still think of and crave during winter. This black bean soup recipe was given to me by two sisters–the older sister was the one who loved to cook. With only five basic ingredients, this soup is sensational.
After making this recipe for more than 35 years, I am excited to pay it forward so you can love this soup as much as I do. Red peppers and jalapeno or serrano peppers, garlic and onion provide the base that gives this soup a leg up on the flavor profile. What I love is how the sweet red pepper balances magnificently with the spicy jalapeno pepper while the onion and garlic bring out the best in the black beans. This soup is neither too sweet nor too spicy, but just right. Goldilocks would love it!
Keep it Simple
Blending half of the soup makes this a creamy, but substantial soup that goes down easily. Eat is as is or feel free to jazz it up a bit with some fun toppings like chopped onion or green onion, diced tomatoes and/or avocado, plain yogurt or sour cream, shredded cheese, tortilla chips, etc. To make this heart-warming soup a meal, serve with a side of vegetable cornbread and a small green salad.
Black Bean Soup
This super simple soup will impress and delight you. With so few ingredients, you will wonder how it is so flavorful. The combination of the sweet red peppers and jalapenos or serranos marry to provide a hint of spice. Blend half of the soup to make it creamy or not, your choice. Top with sour cream for an extra dollop of creaminess.
- 1 lb black beans rinsed and any rocks or half beans removed
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion chopped
- 2 red bell peppers chopped
- 2 jalapenos or 3 serrano peppers seeds removed and minced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 quart vegetable broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar optional
- 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup cilantro
- 1/2 lemon squeezed
In a large pot, add beans, cover with water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and allow to set for two hours OR cover the beans with water and allow to soak overnight.
If allowing the beans to soak overnight, drain the beans in a colander and begin the cooking process.
In a soup pot, add the olive oil and place over medium heat.
Add the chopped onion, red bell peppers, jalapenos or serranos and saute for 10-15 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic and saute another few minutes.
Add the beans, vegetable stock and water and sherry vinegar, if using, and bring to a boil. Once the water boils, lower to a simmer and cook for 2- 2 1/2 hours. If the water evaporates, simply add more water so the beans are always covered.
Once the beans are cooked and soft, add the cilantro and cook for another five minutes.
At the very end, add the lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Puree half of the soup for the ideal texture of creamy and chunky.
Garnish with more cilantro and a spoon of sour cream, if desired.
Store any leftover soup in the fridge or the freezer.