When the weather gets colder soup becomes a very attractive meal. I love making soup for guests because I make it the day before and then have very little prep when people come over. This week I made black bean soup and I thought I’d share it because it’s ridiculously simple and tastes wonderful.
1 cup (ish) chopped onion
1 cup (ish) chopped carrot
1 cup (ish) chopped celery
1 seeded/chopped red bell pepper (can be yellow or orange)
1 seeded/chopped jalapeno (optional)
1 seeded/chopped habanero pepper (optional)
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cans black beans (sure, you can go to the trouble of soaking your own beans, but I don’t)
2-4 cups chicken stock (use vegetable stock to keep this a vegetarian dish) – amount depends on consistency you want
I happened to have matchstick carrots on hand for my salads-in-a-jar that I make for lunch at work, so I used those this time.
I like it spicy, so I use both the jalapeno and habanero peppers. The usual warnings about handling hot peppers apply! Carrots/onion/celery are a standard mirepoix that is a great start to any soup. After all the veggies are chopped, saute them in a large pot with about 4 tablespoons of butter (don’t forget the garlic!):
Once the veggies soften (this smells divine, by the way) add the black beans (do not drain) and stock:
Let this simmer a while (there is not a specific amount of time; you just want the veggies nice and soft). While it’s simmering, taste the broth – if you feel a need you can add red pepper flakes or ground pepper, but honestly I rarely need to do that. There is plenty of great flavor in the base ingredients.
This is a pureed soup. While you can now transfer to a food processor/blender to puree that is really kind of a pain. I highly recommend a stick blender so you can puree it right in the pot:
After pureeing, I let it simmer a bit longer so I can again sample for flavor. Then remove from heat, let the pot cool a bit, and cover and put in the refrigerator overnight. This really helps the flavors meld, plus it makes the next day’s meal a snap. Just reheat on the stove, and serve with some nice bread and fresh avocado (or sour cream, or whatever sounds good to you!).