Black Bean Soup

A couple of years ago, I was so intimidated by the thought of homemade soup.  I had no clue what I could possibly make the base out of and how to get everything diced so fine and perfectly and the list went on.  I started making black bean soup about a year ago, and that’s a miracle because my husband is not a soup lover – yet, he really, really likes this!  I learned it doesn’t have to be like canned soup.  That’s basically the beauty of homemade soup.  It can have whatever vegetables and spices you have on hand, and be whatever texture or thickness you want.

This week is a bigger win because when I opened my pantry to make the soup, I had run out of my most crucial ingredient: vegetable stock.  After giving up the soup making idea for a nanosecond, I realized I’ll just have to get creative.  And it turns out my soup recipe got even better!

You’ll need:

1T olive oil

1 can of black beans – I used the spicy organic 365 Wholefoods brand

8oz of tomato sauce

3/4 bell pepper, chopped

1/2 yellow onion, chopped

1/2 zucchini, chopped

3/4 Cup of carrots, chopped

1/2 jalapeño, diced

1-3 cloves of garlic

handful of cilantro, chopped

salt & pepper to taste

This version turned out way spicier than any black bean soup I’ve made before.  It was mild tasting at first, but then once it lingered on the taste buds a few moments, the spiciness raged.  My husband was delighted!  If you don’t want it as spicy, use regular black beans and remove the seeds from the jalapeño or omit the jalapeño all together.  However, the jalapeño, salt and pepper are really the only seasonings in this soup, so I do recommend it.

After washing and chopping all the produce, heat the oil in a soup pot or dutch oven on medium to high heat.  Add the onion and saute until it is fragrant and slightly translucent.  Add the garlic and saute for a few more moments before adding the carrots.

Then the bell pepper.

And the jalapeño.

After everything has sauteed, add the tomato sauce.  If you want a less intense tomato flavor, only use half the amount of sauce.  But, since we’re not using vegetable stock in this soup, this is the main component to the soup base.  You don’t want it too watery.

Add enough water to thin out the tomato sauce.  I added 1/2 cup at a time until it was a thin, soupy consistency.  Add the black beans, zucchini, salt, and pepper, and simmer over medium heat for 30 minutes.  After about twenty minutes, it had become very thick, so I added more water at that point.

When it’s almost finished, add the cilantro and simmer for 5-10 more minutes.

And there you have it! Spicy black bean soup.  I think it’s my hispanic roots (the ones in my heart, not my bloodline) that make me want to automatically pair black beans with cilantro, but I knew this soup needed a cooling agent of some sort, so cilantro was a nice touch.

After it had cooled a bit, I jarred and refrigerated the soup to take for lunch the next day.  Just as delicious on the second day!


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