Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Black bean soup - a recipe

Okay, so this soup looks completely disgusting.

It's really really yummy, though! And, more importantly, it's healthy! No cream, butter, red meat, or excessive sodium. It's a recipe that my sister-in-law gave me last weekend, and I think she got it from a blog, but the recipe is a copycat version of Panera Bread's Black Bean Soup. And if that's not enough, I've tweaked it a bit myself (more liquid, less sodium). I don't know what the real Panera Bread version is supposed to taste like, so I have no problem mixing things up a bit. Here's the recipe. It made about four servings for us.

Black Bean Soup

- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 celery ribs, finely chopped
- 1/4 large red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, undrained
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 lemon, juice of
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch

In a pot, combine the first six ingredients; simmer for 10 minutes.
Add half a can of beans, salt and cumin; cook for 5 more minutes.
Purée the soup - an immersion blender is the easiest way to do it. I like my soups with a bit of texture, so I only partially puréed mine.

Add the rest of the beans (you should have a can and a half left, don't forget you're not draining them) to the soup.

Combine the cornstarch with 1 1/2 tablespoons of water, and stir it into the soup. Let it thicken up a bit, and then squeeze half a lemon into the pot.

*Don't skip the lemon! It totally brightens up the flavor and really makes a big difference.

We ate our soup with unbuttered toast, something my butter-hating husband has turned me on to, and thank goodness! I love butter way too much for my own good.

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