March 29, 2014

Simply Black Bean Soup

by Sun

For those of you who know me or follow my posts, you would remember that I try to avoid recipes that involve multiple cooking steps, like after stove cooking, having to put it in the oven or blender, then back to something else, etc.

Nowadays my cooking rules have changed a little bit since I bought myself a Vitamix last year. It took a little bit of persuasion by a few friends who already have this blender. Yes, it was quite pricy and I needed additional convincing to justify the high price even after thinking about the two broken blenders I've gone thru in the past few years and I hardly used them at all!


Carlos likes soup a lot and always asks me why I don't make more soups? So if I plan to make more soups or try different soup recipes, It is essential to have a good blender. Enough said and being justified, I went ahead and got myself a professional Vitamix model. Ever since then I have been enjoying making Butternut Squash soup, Roasted Bell Pepper soup, Gazpacho, and Black Bean soup among others, ( (not to mention endless smoothies, but that is another post).

Among the 4 things I mentioned, the black bean soup is the easiest to make. Not much chopping other than some garlic, onion, and red bell peppers. You can do it from scratch by soaking the black beans overnight and boiling for hours the next day or just use a can of black beans like I'm doing here and finish it in 20 minutes. Remember easy way is my way :).

The origins of the black bean soup is said to come from the Caribbean, so Cubans and Puerto Ricans have been known to claim ownership among others, and who could blame them because in addition to the yummy and rich taste, the additional health benefits of black beans are high in antioxidants, fiber, folate, and it goes on.


Recipe for 4 - 6 servings

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1 chopped large onion
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 chopped medium red bell pepper
2 cans of black beans
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup cooked white rice (optional: if you want it to be a full meal)
salt and pepper


Directions:
1. Saute garlic and onion in olive oil for 3 minutes and add red bell peppers, salt and pepper. Saute for 3 more minutes.
2. Add black bean soup, cumin, chicken broth and simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Transfer to a blender and run it until it reaches desired thickness.
4. Transfer the blended soup back to the pot and add cilantro and cook for 5 more minutes ( this step can be skipped if you don't like cilantro ).
5. Optional: Serve with avocado, sour cream on top or 3 table spoons of cooked rice on the bottom for more hearty meal.

Good Eating!

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