Quick and Easy Black Bean Soup
Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home is a collection of fast and easy recipes, most of which are vegetarian. (There is a chapter on fish.) I really like the Black Bean Soup recipe in the book. It uses canned black beans, canned tomatoes, and sun-dried tomatoes to produce a flavorful soup that can be ready very quickly. It’s a great weeknight soup.
The recipe suggests blending half of the finished soup and adding it back to the pot. If you do that, be sure the blender is only half-full and hold the lid on with a pot holder. Hot soup will shoot up when you blend it and can pop the lid off if it’s too full.
Instead of using my blender, I use my immersion blender. It is so much easier! Just put it in your pot of soup and blend away, leaving some beans and tomatoes unblended for texture.
Black Bean Soup
(Adapted from a recipe in Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home)
Serves 2 (doubles easily)
5 sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)
½ cup boiling water
1 tablespoons oil
¾ cup finely chopped onions
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 tablespoons water
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (15 oz) can black beans, undrained
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Additional water, if necessary
Yogurt or sour cream (optional)
In a small bowl, cover the sun-dried tomatoes with the boiling water and set aside.
Sauté the onions and cayenne in the oil for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for about 1 minute more.
Add the cumin, water, and tomatoes with their juice. Simmer, covered, for another 5 minutes.
Add the black beans with their liquid. Simmer, covered, for an additional 5 minutes. Stir occasionally to keep from sticking.
Drain the sun-dried tomatoes. Chop them and add them to the soup. Simmer for 5 – 10 minutes. Add the cilantro and remove from the heat.
Using an immersion blender, blend the soup right in the pot until about half of the beans and tomatoes are blended. (Or carefully blend half of the soup in a blender and then add it back to the pot.)
If the soup is too thick, add a little bit of additional water and reheat.
Serve with a bit of plain yogurt or sour cream, if you want.