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Black Bean Soup with Cumin

This is a simple to prepare, delicious soup. Cooking the dried spices or fresh chilies before adding stock, helps to release its flavorful oils. A little work for a lot of flavor.

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil or 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 8 garlic cloves, finely minced or pureed
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or a finely minced jalapeno)
  • 3 (15.5 oz.) cans black beans with their liquid
  • 6 cups vegetable (or chicken) stock
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (or creme fraiche)
  • 1/2 lime, juiced

Optional: freshly chopped cilantro for garnish

Steps

  1. Heat oil (or butter) in medium heavy large saucepan or stockpot over medium high heat. Add the onions. Season with the salt and a some freshly ground pepper.
  2. Cook the onions until they began to lightly brown, about 15 minutes.
  3. Stir in the garlic, cumin, and crushed red pepper (or jalapeno) stirring until everything is incorporated and the garlic is releasing its aroma.
  4. Add the beans and their liquid to the pot, stirring to incorporate.
  5. Add the stock.
  6. Bring everything to a boil, then lower heat until soup is simmering. Stir occasionally for approximately 40 minutes. Either working in small batches with a blender (hot liquids in a blender need plenty of space so they don’t explode over the top), puree until smooth. An easier route is to use an immersion blender right in the pot.
  7. Lower heat and continue to cook until the desired consistency, thick or thin is reached.
  8. In a cup, combine sour cream, lime juice, and chopped cilantro leaves, if using.
  9. Ladle soup into hot heated bowls and serve, topping each serving with sour cream mixture.

This soup is also very good served with a dollop of salsa fresca. In addition, you may decide to incorporate finely diced tomatoes into the soup at the same time you add the garlic, cumin, and pepper.

“Frying” the spices

Adding the black beans to the spiced onion mixture

An immersion blender saves a lot of time and clean-up effort

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