Can you have enough soup recipes? I really don’t think so. In our house, we have soup at least once a week – and often more in the wintertime. To my way of thinking, a big pot of soup simmering on the stove is just perfect comfort food – warmth and nourishment for the body, and a balm for the soul.
This Zesty Black Bean Soup is comfort food to be sure, but with a zing. The warm, flavorful spices wake up the tastebuds and put a little fire in the belly (in a flavorful, not a hot kind of way). And I just love that I can prepare a batch with just a few pantry ingredients, and then stash in the fridge to portion out throughout the week for lunches, or as an easy supper. This soup even works as a perfectly satisfying breakfast when topped with a poached or fried egg.
And like most soup recipes, this recipe is customizable. For the sake of convenience, I’ve used canned beans, but you can cook up some dried beans to use, or use your own home-canned beans. And while I like the flavor of fire-roasted tomatoes in this soup, any kind of diced tomatoes will do the trick. Save yourself some money and a trip to the store by using what you have.
My favorite way to enjoy this soup is steamy hot, topped with a big dollop of sour cream and a generous dusting of chopped fresh cilantro.
I hope you enjoy!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 bell pepper, diced (any color)
- 1 jalapeno, finely diced (remove seeds and membranes for less heat)
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- 1(15-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, NOT rinsed or drained (about 3 cups cooked beans)
- 2 cups chicken broth (use vegetable broth for vegan)
- 1 large bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon honey (omit for vegan)
- Juice of 1 lime
- Salt and pepper
- Fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped (optional)
- In a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper, and jalapeno, and saute for 8-9 minutes, or until vegetables are soft and lightly golden.
- Stir in the garlic, cumin, smoked paprika, oregano, and allspice, and cook for 1 additional minute.
- Add tomatoes, black beans, broth, bay leaf and honey to pot. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce to a simmer. Place lid on pot, with lid slightly ajar to allow steam to escape. Simmer for 20 minutes.
- Remove bay leaf, allow to cool for 5 minutes, and then puree about half of the soup using a stick blender or countertop blender. (Do this carefully if soup is still hot!)
- If using a countertop blender, return pureed soup to pot, stirring to combine. .
- Add juice squeezed from 1 lime. Season generously with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Garnish with fresh cilantro, if desired.
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