Very occasionally I make it out of the office before the sun’s completely down. That is a true sign that spring is on its way. Pretty soon, dandelions will be awakening and spinach will be sprouting. Those will be the days. Praise spring.
I’m still cooking up soups though to hold me through this winter. Soups are my cool-weather savior. I grew up slurping a lot of black beans in particular, so in this variety I find an extra sense of comfort. Hopefully it will bring comfort for you too.
The recipe below is deemed “quick” because the soup draws upon already cooked beans. Dried beans yield great results, but this is a fantastic time-saver for a warming week-night meal. Building its flavor from cumin, oregano and fresh cilantro, this soup serves as the perfect compliment to a slightly sweet side of cornbread. Spring is officially only a few weeks away (March 20), so make sure this one slips in their before then. Though really, that’s just an incentive to get your kitchen working. Black bean soup is of course worthy of a spoon far beyond March.
- -2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- -1 onion, diced
- -3 stalks of celery, diced
- -1 red bell pepper, finely diced
- -2 large cloves garlic, minced
- -1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- -3/4 tsp. cumin
- -1/4-1/2 tsp. cayenne
- -1 quart of vegetable broth
- -2 (15 oz. cans) black beans (do not drain)
- -Salt, to taste
- -1/4 cup cilantro
- -1 avocado, diced and sprinkled with salt
- -Yogurt/sour cream
- In large pot, heat olive oil over medium-high. Add onion, celery and bell pepper to pan. Cook until vegetables, are tender 6-8 minutes, adding garlic halfway through and stirring occasionally. Add oregano, cumin and cayenne, and stir for one minute. Add vegetable broth.
- Bring broth to a medium simmer. Let cook, uncovered, for 8 minutes. Add entire contents of both cans of beans, and season with salt, to taste. Return to a simmer, and cook uncovered for 10-12 minutes, or until broth reduces to desired consistency.
- Transfer half of the contents in pan to a blender/food processor. Puree until smooth. Return to pan.
- Stir in cilantro and then remove from heat. Serve topped with avocado and a dollop of yogurt/sour cream.