Spicy Black Bean Soup to Warm Up on A Cold Winter (or Summer) Day
Some may say it’s a little odd to constantly want to eat soup when it’s the middle of the summer and it’s 100 degrees outside. However, the fact that it’s winter back in NY, coupled with our very strong air conditioning system, gives me the illusion of cold weather, so the soup seems quite normal and appropriate to me.
Vegetarian split pea was the first soup I made out here last year, and this recipe is similar and just as easy. There are only a few steps, and if you like it chunky, rather than pureed, you can skip the last few steps.
1 bag of dried beans
3-4 large carrots
3-4 stalks of celery
1 large onion
3-4 tablespoons chopped garlic
Fresh cilantro (or Goya cilantro sofrito)
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, cajun spices (all to taste)
6 chicken or vegetable bouillon cubes, and 6-8 cups water, depending on desired consistency OR 6-8 cups chicken or vegetable stock
I’m forced to use dried beans because that’s all I can find in these parts. I’d imagine it would be much easier if I were using canned black beans, but since I don’t have a choice, dried beans is it!
The first step is to soak the beans for as long as possible. Most recipes I’ve seen said to soak for 8 hours or overnight, but I usually have to soak for an entire day if I don’t want to have to cook the actual beans for hours on end.
Next, thinly slice carrots. Thinly slice celery. Chop onions. Mince garlic.
Over medium heat, add olive oil, carrots, onions, celery, garlic, and salt and pepper. Saute until soft, about 20 minutes.
Add beans, bouillon cubes, and water (or stock).
Add remaining spices to taste, and stir.
Cover and simmer for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally, until the beans are to your desired consistency. Add water/stock as necessary if levels get too low.
If you like a chunky black bean soup, then you are done.
I like my black beans pureed, so transfer to a food processor and puree in batches until you’ve reached your desired consistency. I do like to have some chunks in my soup, so I stop shy of a complete puree.
Transfer back to the pot and if you like it a little thinner, add a bit more water/stock.
I would eat with a dollop of sour cream and avocado, but since we don’t have sour cream, I use plain yogurt.