Soups are not only quick and easy to make, they’re also very gratifying. There’s no better example of kitchen alchemy, where the sum total of the ingredients is so much more than the addition of their parts. Using canned beans makes sense every way you look at it; they’re convenient, inexpensive and a nutritional powerhouse containing fibre and iron, as well as other vitamins & minerals.
During the dark and chilly days of fall and winter, a bowl of soup is also comforting and restorative. We could all use more of that!
It used to be said that you could judge the quality of a restaurant by its soup. If they took the time and care to make it right… you could be sure that the food which followed would be just as good.
This is perfect for meatless Monday – and in fact, is vegetarian and vegan. As a bonus, it’s also very inexpensive to put together – great for the budget. In most places, the black beans cost less than $2.
Puréeing some of the soup helps with thickening. While I puréed only a small portion, you can purée as much of it as you like, depending on how you want the final texture to be.
This also freezes very well so make the whole pot, even if you only want a little. Serve topped with yogurt (or other non-dairy if it’s an issue) and diced green onions or chives.
Black Bean Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion diced small
- 2 stalks celery diced small
- 1 large carrot diced small
- 1 large sweet potato diced medium
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 4 cups water (or vegetable stock)
- 1 19 oz can black beans
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
In a large sauce pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil, then add the onion, celery, carrot and a pinch of salt & pepper. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add sweet potato, cooking for another 5 minutes.
Add the garlic, cumin, coriander and pepper flakes, stirring for just a minute - this will really activate the flavour. Add a bit more oil if it seems dry.
Add the water or stock, beans, bay leaf, remaining salt & pepper and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes or until the veg are soft.
With any type of blender, purée about 2 cups; this will help thicken the soup and leaving some of the veg intact will give it good texture.
Any leftovers, like most soups, are even better the next day - this will also freeze very well, perfect to have on hand for when you're too busy too cook.