I have been terribly slow posting so far this year and it is not because I am not thinking about the blog (and you). It feels as though between PN (post-nanny), additional kid activities, and some exciting projects that I can’t share with you (quite yet), there is just very little time left in the day. But clearly we still eat, so you might still be interested in knowing what we eat when things feel totally hectic and nuts. It is not super glamorous, but this Black Bean Soup from Rachel Ray is a healthy staple that Gus and I rely on. We eat it almost every other week in the winter months.
This is such a super simple recipe, it almost seems crazy to share it. But I have thought about it many times and I feel like I am holding something back from you by not telling you about it, as it literally saves us on nights where we don’t feel like cooking but want to eat something healthy and delicious. We always cook a double batch and then freeze additional portions in couple-sized quantities. Then, on busy nights, we pull it out of the freezer, serve it over a bowl of rice, add avocado, sour cream, cheese, chicken, or anything else we happen to have in the fridge. We up the quantities of vegetables from Rachel’s version, and sometimes we throw in a can of refried beans to add thickness. When we have leftovers, sometimes this will be the filling to burritos the next night. What I love most about it is that it is one of those recipes that seems to turn out well no matter what I do to it.
Black Bean Soup
adapted from Rachel Ray’s Black Bean Stoup
2 tablespoons extra- virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
1 large onion, chopped
3 ribs celery with greens, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1 fresh bay leaf or 1 large dried bay leaf
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 red or yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
3 (15-ounce) cans black beans
2 tablespoons ground cumin, a couple of palms full
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander, 1/3 palm full
Salt and pepper
2 to 3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons hot sauce, divided
1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes, diced tomatoes with peppers and onions, or stewed tomatoes
1/2 lime, juiced
3 scallions, chopped
Heat a medium soup pot over medium high heat. Add 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil to the hot pot, then onion, celery, garlic, jalapeno, and bay leaf. Cook 3 to 4 minutes, then add peppers and continue to cook. Drain 2 cans of beans and add them. Use a fork to mash up the beans in the remaining can. Stir the mashed beans into the pot and season with cumin, coriander, salt and pepper and 2 to 3 tablespoons hot sauce. Add stock and tomatoes to the stoup and bring to a bubble. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes over low heat. Add the lime juice. Remove and discard the bay leaf.
Ladle up black bean soup and top with sour cream and scallions.
Rachel Ray likes to serve this “stoup” alongside a hearty sandwich, but as I mentioned above, we prefer to make up a batch of rice and serve the soup on top. Adding accoutrements like sour cream, cheese, and additional hot sauce. If I happen to have an avocado, that typically makes its way on top as well.
Author’s Note: Yikes! Okay, seriously… this just shows how crazy things have been lately. I published this recipe without remembering that I had a bunch more photos that show this dish completed, served up, and being consumed (above)! And the worst part? While prepping this yummy meal, I forgot that I used up the very last drops of the amazing homemade hot sauce! Well, I’ll definitely be making that again…