Black Bean Soup

Looking for a super easy, nutritious soup for the cold winter months? How about one with minimal prep and a water base? This black bean soup is gluten-free and vegan, with ingredients that you likely have in your pantry already. It also makes a large quantity so you'll be set for a few days!

Most people have a romanticized version of winter in Colorado--ski slopes, warm drinks, log cabins, tasty soup around an open fire, etc. For me winter is basically permanently frozen glutes from running outside in the dark, ongoing sinus issues, picking tiny balls of ice from dog paws while they protest, and attempting to drag a trash can through six inches of snow to the curb on trash day. Living.the.dream. Occasionally there is a trip to the mountains for snow shoeing, trail running, hiking, etc.

The part of the romanticized version that is correct is the tasty soup, although substitute a cluttered kitchen table and an iPad playing YouTube videos with the open fire and that's a much more realistic peek into my life. But what IS the tasty soup? Our favorite right now is this Black Bean soup. It's really easy to make and tastes amazing--I've made it twice in the last ten days. Below are both ways that I made it--on the stove top and in the pressure cooker. You could also easily set it and leave it in a slow cooker. The second time I made it I added sweet potatoes which I cannot recommend enough.

What You Need:

  • 1 1/4 cups dry black beans, rehydrated, or two 15oz cans (not exact match, but close enough)

  • 2 garlic cloves, diced

  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced

  • 1 green pepper, diced

  • 1 cup tomatoes, diced

  • 2 tablespoons dried cilantro OR a handful of chopped cilantro + more to garnish

  • 4 cups water

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

  • 1/2 tsp white pepper

  • 1 teaspoon salt (+ you might want more based on your palette)

Directions:

Super easy! It feels like I did a lot of fancy food over the Winter break, so it's nice to get back to my usual "It all goes in one pot. Cook it. Eat it." routine.

Step One: Saute the onion and garlic in a saucepan or dutch oven with a tablespoon of water. Once they onion is translucent...

Step Two: Add all of your other ingredients, including the water. Put the stovetop on low and let this simmer, lid off.

Step Three: Stir occasionally, mashing the mixture so some of the beans break and add some texture to the soup.

Step Four: Give this at least 30 minutes to cook, longer if you have time. Once it's at a density that is to your liking, serve!

UPDATED INSTRUCTIONS: I made this a second time, this time in the pressure cooker. Directions are even easier: No sauteing, just put everything in the pressure cooker and set it on the 'soup/stew' setting. Once it's done, mash it up a bit and you'll be all set! I also added four diced sweet potatoes the second time. My taste tester said he thought it was even better this way.


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