Black Bean Soup

9 Jan

I talked a big talk last year.  Fall/Winter 2011 was going to be season of soup.  I think I made 2 or maybe just 1?  I blame an unusually warm winter and the holidays.  The holidays just made me want to make candy, not soup.   So now I get to declare, in this, the second week of The New Year, that Winter 2012 will be the season of soup!

We had a few very cold days last week, like barely making it out of the teens cold.  I bundled Isabella up so warmly that she couldn’t put her arms down by her side.  We went outside to run and play and burn off a little energy, she made it to the gate of our building, turned around and asked, “Go home now Mama?”  It was that kind of cold.  The perfect time to renew my soup making aspirations.

This soup is easy, very easy.   It takes about 15 minutes to get everything cooking together, you let it simmer a little longer, blend and eat.

Black Bean Soup – 4 Servings

1 large onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 15 oz cans of black beans, drained and rinsed

3 cups stock, chicken or vegetable

2 bay leaves

1/4 cup cilantro, minced

In a medium saucepan sauté the onion in olive oil until translucent.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add garlic, bay leaves and cumin. Sauté, stirring frequently.  Add the stock and scrape any brown bits off the bottom of the pan.  Add the black beans and thyme.  Turn the heat down to low and let simmer for 30 minutes.

Let the soup cool slightly, in small batches, puree in a blender until smooth.  A tip: when you are blending hot liquids, cover the top of the blender with a kitchen towel and hold the lid securely when blending.  Hot liquid + blender = pressure.  If you aren’t careful the lid will fly off and hot soup will shoot out of the blender coating your walls, cabinets and counters, staining your favorite shirt. Once the mixture is blending smoothly, you can ease the lid up slightly to release some pressure.

Re-heat, stir in most of the cilantro, reserving some to garnish.  Serve, garnish with sour cream, cilantro and lime wedges.  Enjoy!

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