It’s that time of year when all I want is warm soup. Even if it’s not that cold in Georgia, it’s still winter. And the temperature swing from midday to midnight can easily be 30 degrees. I’m really trying to lower our food budget, so soups are also budget-friendly and you end up with several meals worth when it’s done. Sugar Bee, my three year old, loves beans, especially black beans, so she’ll pretty much eat any soup now that has beans. I have even been known to add some beans to my chicken soup for her eating enjoyment. Here is another winner for her.
This one is also a time-saver. I usually make bean soups in the crock pot since I try to cook my own beans as much as possible. Not only is it a lot cheaper to soak and cook dried beans yourself (and you get to control the amount of salt), it also helps make them a less musical fruit if they are freshly cooked. Freshly soaking the beans loosens the skins, and releases the gas causing agent (oligosaccherides). When you dump that gassy water from the overnight soak and cook them with fresh, clean water, you end up with less gas. (Here’s a great post about how to cook and soak your own beans.) That aside, because I used canned beans for this recipe, I can see being able to throw this together for a last-minute dinner on a weeknight. Cheap, fast, and easy…just how I like my meals.
Southwest Black Bean Soup
Cheap, fast, and easy. That’s how I like my meals. Soups are a great way to get more out of your food budget. Bean soups are even more thrifty. This recipe uses canned beans, but you can easily swap the cans for a pound of presoaked beans, throw everything in the slow cooker, and set it for 8 hours on low. Either way, this is a perfect meal for a winter’s night.
- 2 Tbsp oil (I used expeller-pressed coconut oil)
- 2 onions, diced
- 6 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 generous Tablespoon chili powder
- 1 generous Tablespoon cumin
- Four 15 oz cans black beans
- 32 oz broth (I used vegetable broth)
- 2 large roasted red peppers, chopped
- 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 bay leaves
- Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- Juice of one lime
- Fresh cilantro, chopped
- Heat oil in large stock pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook for 5-7 minutes, until softened, but not browned. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about a minute.
- Add cumin, chili powder, and beans, stirring to coat everything in spices.
- Add broth, peppers, tomato paste, bay leaves, and pepper, and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes. Add fresh lime juice and stir.
- Spoon into bowls and garnish with fresh cilantro.
(Optional: Add spoon of sour cream like The Russian did)