Here’s a simple little recipe from Bon Appetit (found here on Epicurious) that ended up being surprisingly good. You wouldn’t know it from my sad little picture (taken a couple days after making it when I was eating the leftovers- bad me, lazy food blogger!), but this black bean soup was warm and filling, with a depth of flavor that makes it perfect for wintry days. As simple as dicing up a few veggies for a mirepoix and adding a couple of cans of black beans and some spices, this soup can be thrown together in a matter of minutes. Yes, I realize that it would probably be even better made with dried beans, but for me, the whole point of this was a quick homemade dinner that wouldn’t keep me chained to the stove for hours. And it’s doubly easy if you have an immersion blender so you don’t have to deal with the heinous task of pureeing boiling soup in the blender (always a disaster waiting to happen).
I served this soup with Alanna’s weeknight-easy rolls, which ended up being more like a muffin when I made them, but no complaints there. We chose to use a full 2 tbsp of minced jalapenos in the soup, with most (but not all) of the seeds removed, and it was flavorful, but only mildly spicy. If you want to turn up the heat a notch, add more jalapenos or keep more of the seeds.
Black bean soup with cumin and jalapeno (serves 4)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 to 2 teaspoons chopped jalapeño chile with seeds, divided
2 15- to 16-ounce cans black beans, undrained
1 15-ounce can petite diced tomatoes in juice
1 1/2 cups low-salt chicken broth
Chopped fresh cilantro
Chopped green onions
Crumbled feta cheese
1. Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot, and garlic; sauté until vegetables begin to soften, about 6 minutes. Mix in cumin and 1 teaspoon jalapeño.
2. Add beans, tomatoes with juice, and broth; bring soup to boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook until carrots are tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer 3 cups of soup to blender and puree until smooth. Return puree to pot. (Or use an immersion blender and blend until only slightly chunky.)
3. Simmer soup until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and remaining 1 teaspoon jalapeño, if desired. Ladle soup into bowls. Pass cilantro, green onions, and feta cheese separately.