Black Beans Meet Soup and Marketing

 

b1.jpgI have always felt the best way to make black bean soup was with dry beans- none of that canned stuff. Therefore, I found myself in my local grocery bulk section. I was surprised that packaged beans now came in the cute Ziploc air tight bags and that they were on sale for $1.49 (is that a good deal on beans?). I couldn’t help myself, and I called my dear friend Abby. She assured me that beans have been coming in airtight bags for a while now and she had no clue if that price was a good deal. I tossed two bags in my cart when a nice elderly woman asked, “How old are you?”

I looked at her, puzzled.

She said, “I overheard your conversation- how you could remember the old bags? They switch eons ago. Those old ones was flimsy and the beans kept falling out.” Then she asked, didn’t I think these new ones were much cuter?

I couldn’t argue with her there. I smiled politely and started to push off with my cart when she said, “You want to go with the canned, season black beans for your soup.”

Back in my kitchen I took three cans of black beans out of my pantry and did a quick Google search on canned black bean soup. I found an amazing recipe by Gourmet Connection. I have made a few adjustments and the soup did not disappoint.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cans black beans (low-sodium if possible), drained and rinsed
  • 2 T. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 whole red bell peppers, finely diced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
  • 1 T. ground cumin
  • 1 T. ground coriander
  • 1 t dried oregano
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 smoked sausage

Preparation:

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, red bell pepper, carrot, jalapeño, and garlic, then sauté about 3 minutes. Sprinkle the mixture with the cumin, coriander, and oregano. Add a few grinds of black pepper and combine well. Continue cooking until the spices are fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes, then stir in the chicken broth and black beans. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer 1 cup of the beans from the soup to a small bowl and set aside. Purée the remaining soup either with a hand-held immersion blender or conventional blender (if using a conventional blender, it might be best to purée in two batches).

Return the reserved beans to the soup, add smoked sausage, and cook for another 10 minutes. Stir in the lime juice, taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. To serve, ladle soup into serving bowls and garnish with the cilantro.

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