southwestern black bean soup

If you're in a hurry, substitute the dried beans for canned black beans (14-ounce can); just rinse them under cold water before using. There’s no need to par cook them, and you don't have to worry about them being undercooked.

Yield: 8

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried black beans, soaked in cold water for 4 hours or overnight
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (30 ml)
  • 2 ounces smoked bacon, chopped (60 grams)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Chipotle chile in Adobo sauce, chopped, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seed, toasted and ground (5 ml)
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock or water (1 litre)
  • 1x14 ounce can plum tomatoes
  • Coarse salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • Handful fresh coriander, chopped, to taste

 Directions

  1. Add soaked beans to medium pot. Cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low. Simmer uncovered until beans just begin to soften, about 20 minutes. Drain and discard liquid. Set beans aside until ready to use.
  2. In a large pot, heat vegetable oil on high. Add the onion and sauté until soft and golden, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the smoked bacon and cook until golden, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add chipotle chile, cumin, carrots, celery, red pepper, bay leaf and chicken stock. Bring to a boil. Add the partially cooked beans. Reduce heat to low. Simmer until vegetables are almost tender, about 25 minutes. Add tomatoes, cover and continue to cook soup until beans are tender and soup has thickened, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove bayleaf.
  3. Transfer 1/3 of soup to food processor or blender, puree until smooth. Pour pureed mixture back into remaining soup. Stir to blend. Finish with chopped fresh coriander. Serve immediately.