Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup

I love my crock pot. I have found, however, that almost all the recipes in my crock pot cookbooks are for meat-based entrees. That's all well and good, but there are some times you want something lighter, or vegetarian (or that isn't made with a can of cream of chicken soup!) I ordered a book on Amazon.com, hoping to find something new and different, and I did: "Fresh From the Vegetarian Slow Cooker" by Robin Robertson.

The recipe for Black Bean Soup was easy to follow, and I had everything I needed for it already in my pantry and fridge - and I'm betting you do too. This came out better than I expected! The texture was both chunky and smooth after I used my immersion blender (you can put your soup in the blender or food processor and pulse lightly, or even use a potato masher to get your desired consistency.)

Serve this with chopped green onions, cilantro, sour cream, shredded cheese, salsa, tortilla chips, or any or all of the above. Terrific!

(Sorry about the photo. It's bean soup, and it's delicious and nutritious, but there's just no way to make it look glamorous in a photo!)

Black Bean Soup
(recipe courtesy "Fresh From the Vegetarian Slow Cooker" by Robin Robertson)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1/2 green (I used red) bell pepper, seeded and minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cans (15.5-ounces each) black beans, rinsed
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, left undrained
  • 4 cups stock (I used less, probably closer to 3 cups)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (optional)
  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, bell pepper, and garlic; cover and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Transfer the cooked vegetables to a slow cooker, add the beans, tomatoes and their juice, stock, bay leaves, cumin, thyme, and cayenne, and season with salt and black pepper. Stir to combine. Cover and cook on Low for 8 hours.
  3. Remove and discard the bay leaves and taste to adjust the seaosonings. Just before serving, stir in the lemon juice, if using. To thicken, puree at least 2 cups or up to one half of the soup solids with an immersion blender used right in the cooker, or ladled into a regular blender or food processor and returned to the cooker. Serve hot.

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