Black Bean Soup

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For an easy to prepare, one dish snack or meal that is chock-full of vegetables, dietary fiber, spices and a rainbow of flavors it really is hard to go past a wholesome, nutritious, thick and chunky Black Bean Soup.

Ingredients:

  • 60 Ounces of Canned Black Beans
  • 32 Fluid Ounces of Fat Free Chicken Broth
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 Small Jalapeno Pepper
  • 1 Clove of Garlic
  • 1¼ Cups of Carrots
  • 1¼ Cups of Celery
  • 1¼ Cups of Onion
  • 1 Cup of Lean Smoked Ham
  • ½ Teaspoon of Olive Oil (or non-stick cooking spray if you prefer)
  • ¼ Teaspoon of Cumin
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste

Method:

  1. First up drain and rinse the black beans
  2. Then rinse the jalapeno pepper. Once washed, remove stalk and cut the jalapeno pepper in half. Remove all of the seeds, and then chop the jalapeno pepper into small pieces
  3. It’s is now time to peel, rinse and then chop the carrots, onion, and celery into 1 cm chunks
  4. Chop the ham into ½ cm pieces
  5. Peel and crush the garlic clove
  6. Add the olive oil to a large saucepan and then swirl or use a pastry brush to ensure that the bottom and sides of the saucepan are coated by a thin film of olive oil. You can substitute with a non-stick cooking spray if you so desire.
  7. Next up add all of the vegetables (black beans, onion, carrot, celery, the jalapeno pepper, etc.) to your oiled saucepan.
  8. Once the vegetables have been added place the saucepan over a low heat and immediately begin stirring in the chicken broth.
  9. This is followed by adding in the ham, crushed garlic, cumin and bay leaf.
  10. Give the black bean soup a stir and leave to simmer for 90 minutes or so.
  11. For unattended cooking using a slow cooker/crock pot or time control mechanism please make the necessary adjustments (lower heat and much longer cooking time). Don’t forget to stir occasionally.
  12. Once cooked extract and discard the bay leaf
  13. Coarsely puree the black bean soup. This can be most easily done using a potato masher. If however; you intend to use a food processor to puree the black bean soup then the best method is to transfer 1/3 to ½ of your black bean soup from its cooking saucepan to your food processor. Now go ahead and puree this portion of the black bean soup using the food processor.
  14. Once the black bean soup is pureed to your satisfaction return it to its cooking saucepan and stir thoroughly to ensure that both pureed and original chunky portions are well combined. Remember that it is a thick and chunky black bean soup that we are preparing.

Serving:

Once cooked, serve and eat. The above portions will yield 8 serves of 2 cups of thick and chunky black bean soup each.

Try serving each with a dollop of fat free sour cream and chopped green onions on top. You might also consider accompanying the black bean soup with dumplings, croutons, garlic bread or even plain buttered toast.

Another serving option is to puree and thicken the black bean soup prior to serving on a bed of steamed rice (sticky rice works best when you use chop sticks).

Time:

This black bean soup recipe will take around 10 to 15 minutes to prepare and approximately 90 minutes cooking time.

Nutritional Information (per 2 cup serving):

  • 550 Calories
  • 68 Grams Carbohydrates
  • 43 Grams Protein
  • 9 Grams Fat

Tips and Suggestions:

Slow Cooker – Because this black bean soup recipe is a slow cooker/crock pot friendly dish you can always prepare the ingredients and pop them all into your crock pot/slow cooker. Select the appropriate low heat setting, turn your slow cooker/crock pot on and leave to cook while you turn your attention to getting on with living life.

Thickness – To produce a thinner soup simply add extra broth

Heat Reduction – Not only does this recipe work very well as is but it also comes up trumps without including the jalapeno pepper.

Additional Vegetables – You may increase the quantities of all or some of the vegetable ingredients. For example: add an extra can of beans or maybe even ½ cup of freshly chopped cilantro. When including cilantro in the recipe it is important that you do not add the cilantro to the black bean soup until the last 5 minutes of cooking. Incorporating other vegetables such as potatoes, parsnips, sweet potatoes, corn and pumpkin will add considerably to the variety of your dining experience

Stock Cubes – When using stock cubes rather than whole broth simply replace the quantity of liquid stock with the same volume of warm water. Dissolve the stock cube in the water before adding to the other ingredients.

Black Bean Dip – Puree soup and use as a warm dip. I find that this black bean soup dip partners with low fat tortilla chips particularly well.

Storage – Consider freezing individual portions of this black bean soup in freezer bags so that you will always have a quick; yet nutritious, microwavable meal to hand whenever you want (ideal for those lazy days).

Enjoy!

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