Monday, January 16, 2012

Spicy Black Bean Soup

The recipe for this soup is a Novice Chef Blog original.  Now, if you have never visited The Novice Chef, you need to go.  Now.  I know I say that about just about every single blog I get recipes from, but seriously.  The recipes are always delicious, the stories are good, and this girl is funny.  I mean actually laugh-out-loud funny in a world where the expression "lol" is woefully overused.  Even the way she tags this recipe on her blog is enough to make me giggle: "Ass Friendly". 

Since today is a holiday, I don't have to go to my office.  I don't think I could even if I wanted to, since the university actually closes down today (thanks MLK Jr. and Hopkins!).  Since I have some free time, I thought that this soup would make for a nice, healthy, fiber-packed lunch, rather than just heating something out of a can.  Quite unintentionally, given that I wasn't really thinking about today being Monday, this soup is also perfect for a Meatless Monday meal.

You'll need:

3 tbs olive oil
2 large white onions, chopped
2 large jalapenos, minced
1 large shallot, minced
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 tbs cumin
2 tbs chili powder
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp pepper
6 (14.5 oz.) cans black beans, 4 cans drained and rinsed, 2 cans with liquid
6 cups liquid (vegetable broth, chicken broth, water, or a combination)

In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add the onions, jalapenos, shallots, and garlic.  Saute until the onions are translucent.

I used my Dutch oven for only the 2nd time for this soup.  Of course it's red!
Add in the spices and mix.  Cook for a few more minutes.

Add in the beans and broth/water/whatever you used.  Stir everything up, and heat to a simmer.  Simmer the soup for about 45 minutes.  It won't look like it at first, but it should thicken slightly.  

Remove your pot from the heat, and using an immersion blender, blend until you're happy with the consistency of the soup.  Alternately, you could blend this up in a regular old blender.  Just make sure to do it 1 cup at a time.  Be careful: hot liquid in a blender can be dangerous!

You can garnish your soup with some sour cream, cheese, or whatever else your little heart desires.  Not that I thought it needed it, taste-wise, I garnished mine with some sharp cheddar.  It needed that little pop of color.  I also toasted up a small grilled cheese, of sorts, made from 2 small corn tortillas and more sharp cheddar, for dunking purposes.

The verdict: this soup is deeeeelicious.  First, it starts out by smelling up your kitchen/apartment in just the best way possible.  A friend that lives down the hall said she just followed her nose toward the enticing smell, and ended up at my place =).  Then, when you actually eat it, you find that the soup is made thick and creamy by blending some of it.  It's savory and smoky from the cumin, and subtly spicy from the jalapenos and chili powder.  In short: it's awesome.  

I'll be eating this for lunch several times this week, and will be freezing the rest to have some other time.  If you are a black bean-lover, please give this a try!  Enjoy!


  1. Oh man... just looking at this soup is making me feel warm. I am a huge fan of winter and snow but that first big blast of cold weather shocked my body. It needs warmth and hearty foods, like this fabulous soup! P.S. def. jealous you had the day off!

  2. First - Love Black Bean Soups!
    Second - LOVE your Red Dutch Oven :-)


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