I know the thought of soup in Texas in May sounds crazy. However, it has been raining all morning here and rain always makes me crave soup. It does not help that I was in California this past weekend where the sun was shining, the temperatures were in the 60’s, and I could see and hear the ocean right outside my hotel room. It was rather depressing coming home to gray skies. Plus, I am sure there are plenty of folks out there who are still living with this year’s endless winter and could use a bowl of something warm and comforting. So, let us all find comfort in soup.
I have been making this black bean soup a lot lately because it comes together so quickly. I can pull cans of black beans and broth from the pantry, onion and garlic from the refrigerator, rice from the freezer and have dinner on the table in 30 minutes.
Whenever I cook rice, I always cook more than what I need so I can freeze the leftovers and have it on hand for busy (or lazy) nights. Just be sure to cool the rice completely overnight in the refrigerator before freezing it. Otherwise, you end up with a gummy mess later. I speak from experience here.
Would you believe that just as I was preparing to photograph this black bean soup with artificial lighting, the sun peaked out from behind the clouds just enough to allow me to photograph with natural light? That’s the power of soup for you.
- 3 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained but not rinsed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onions
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon chili powder (or more if you want more heat)
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 Bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch, mixed with 2 tablespoons cold water until smooth
- Fresh cilantro, chopped, for serving
- Hot cooked white or brown rice
- Put one can of drained black beans in a bowl and mash with a fork. Set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, and oregano, and cook, stirring frequently, until garlic is soft, about 2 more minutes.
- Add vegetable broth, salt, Bay leaf, and both black beans, whole and mashed. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir cornstarch mixture to re-combine and add to soup. Stir to combine and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove Bay leaf and discard. Taste the soup and adjust salt to taste.
- Put rice in bowls. Pour soup on top. Generously sprinkle with fresh chopped cilantro, if desired, and serve.