The fresh cilantro in this dish makes a pretty bold flavor note, so if you happen to be one of those people who absolutely cannot abide cilantro, don't worry, it's plenty flavorful without it.
Notes:Black Bean Soup
- ½ cup black beans, dried
- 1 bay leaf
- pinch (less than 1/8 teaspoon) baking soda - See Notes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- ½ red bell pepper chopped
- ½ hot green pepper, chopped
- ½ teaspoon chipotle chili seasoning*
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 14-oz can diced tomatoes
- ¼ cup salsa
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- fresh cilantro, chopped plus additional (to garnish)
- Greek yogurt
- Soak the beans overnight or do a quick soak by placing the dried beans in a medium sauce pan with enough water to cover twice over. Add a pinch of baking soda and bring to a boil and let boil for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and let sit, covered for 2 hours.
- Drain the beans and rinse very well. Then place beans back in the saucepan.
- Add 3 cups water and bay leaf.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a low simmer. Cover and let cook 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes, until beans are tender. Check the water level occasionally, adding more as necessary.
- Remove bay leaf. Drain the beans.
- In a medium sauce pan, over medium-high heat, sauté onion, and shallots in olive oil until they become soft and translucent.
- Add the celery, hot pepper and bell pepper and saute for another 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and sauté for another minute.
- Add the chipotle chili seasoning, the can of tomatoes and vegetable broth and bring to a rolling boil.
- Add the drained, cooked beans.
- Reduce heat and simmer 5-7 minutes longer.
- Remove about half of the mixture to a blender and puree return pureed soup to the pot - or if you have an immersion blender, use it in the pot.
- Stir in the salsa and about 3 tablespoons of chopped fresh cilantro.
- Taste to adjust seasoning. Add the cumin and more chipotle chili seasoning if necessary.
- Ladle into bowls and garnish with a healthy dose of Greek yogurt (or sour cream if you prefer) and a few more sprigs of cilantro.
I made this to replace the sodium-laden packet of taco seasoning for that 7-layer Taco dip. It was so good, that I've decided to use it in everything that might be considered remotely Mexican.
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder, or pulverized dried chipotle chili
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika - if you can find pimentón, smoked Spanish paprika, use this
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- In a small bowl, mix together chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, oregano, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper.
- Store in an airtight container, like an empty spice jar.
- Adding baking soda to the soaking phase is supposed to help reduce the gas factor of the beans. I honestly do not know if this is real or just another kitchen myth, but in my experience, it seems to work. Then again, I also take Beano some of the time. I am also used to a diet rich in beans and legumes, so perhaps it doesn't effect me as harshly as it does others.
- For a "beanier" taste, you could add the beans' cooking liquid in lieu of some of the vegetable broth.
- More fun links dealing with the cilantro issue: