Meatless Monday · Slow Cooker · Soup & Broth

Best Ever Black Bean Soup

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Delicious!

I’ve discovered the secret! I’ve made Black bean soup more times than I can count, and it’s always seemed like a little something was missing. Darned if it wasn’t as simple as using the wrong beans! Do you know how long ago the dried beans at your grocery store were harvested? Me neither, but I’ll bet it wasn’t recently enough. Sometimes they soften nicely, but too frequently they stay hard no matter how long you soak or cook them. Sometimes there is decent flavor, but don’t bet on it. Sure, you can just use canned beans, with all their salt and BPA. I wanted something better.  Enter Rancho Gordo. I stumbled upon them online one day, & decided to try some. I haven’t bought grocery store beans since. Last time I made this soup, I was so disappointed. Bland beans, half crunchy & half mushy, in a watery, tasteless broth. Yawn. Tonight was the first time I tried it with Rancho Gordo’s Midnight Black beans. What a difference! Uniformly creamy beans that didn’t turn to mush, and the blackest, richest broth I’ve ever seen. Seriously, go to their website right now & get some! Unless, of course, you have a good local supplier. No, I don’t get paid by them to plug their beans (though if you’re listening, Steve, I wouldn’t turn down a couple of pounds of freebie beans!) They really are just that good.  You can read all about why on their website.

So for a few minutes prep in the morning, you can come home to the tantalizing fragrance & mouth-watering taste of the best black bean soup you’ve ever made! You’ll find a printer-friendly version of the recipe at the bottom of this page.

Ingredients:

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1 pound Rancho Gordo Midnight Black beans (not pre-soaked)

⅔ cup diced red onion (about half a medium onion)

2 large cloves garlic

1 Tbsp olive oil

⅓ cup chopped carrots

⅓ cup chopped celery

1 Tbsp tomato paste

2 tsp sherry vinegar

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

1 bay leaf

2½ tsp cumin, divided

1 tsp chili powder

½ tsp ground chipotle

½ tsp Mexican Oregano (may substitute other oregano)

⅛ tsp cayenne

2 cups Homemade Vegetable Broth

4 cups water

½ tsp salt

½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 Lime

chopped fresh cilantro for garnish (optional)

Preparation:

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Beautiful beans!

1.) Pick over the beans, looking for any dirt or bits of debris. Sometimes you actually find something. Then rinse the beans, & place in the slow cooker pot.

2.) Heat a small skillet on medium-high. Add the olive oil, let it get hot, then add the onions. Sauté, stirring frequently, until just turning translucent. Reduce heat to medium, add the garlic, stir and sauté until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.

3.) Transfer onions & garlic to slow cooker pot. Add a cup of the water to the sauté pan, scraping up any browned bits. Add to pot.

4.) Add carrots, celery, tomato paste, vinegars, bay leaf, 2 tsp of the cumin, plus chili, chipotle, oregano, & cayenne to pot. Add vegetable broth & remaining water. Stir just enough to make sure everything is underwater. Set cooker for 9 hours on low.

5.) Half an hour before serving, stir the remaining 1/2 tsp cumin, as well as the salt and pepper into the pot. Juice the lime, and stir in half the juice now.

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6.) Immediately before serving, stir in the other half of the lime juice. Very carefully (it’s hot!), use an immersion blender to partially blend the beans. I like to leave about half of them whole, blending the rest to thicken the soup. You could also use a food processor or blender, but be extra careful with those. The soup is hot, and the steam creates pressure – it could splat back out and burn you. Serve with a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt, and some chopped cilantro.

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Immersion blender. Look at that broth! I took this photo before turning the blender on – that rich, dark broth is just gorgeous.

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Best Ever Black Bean Soup


Ingredients


1 pound Rancho Gordo Midnight Black beans (not pre-soaked)
⅔ cup diced red onion (about half a medium onion)
2 large cloves garlic
1 Tbsp olive oil
⅓ cup chopped carrots
⅓ cup chopped celery
1 Tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp sherry vinegar
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 bay leaf
2½ tsp cumin, divided
1 tsp chili powder
½ tsp ground chipotle
½ tsp Mexican Oregano (may substitute other oregano)
⅛ tsp cayenne
2 cups Homemade Vegetable Broth
4 cups water
½ tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 Lime
chopped fresh cilantro for garnish (optional)

Directions


1.) Pick over the beans, looking for any dirt or bits of debris. Sometimes you actually find something. Then rinse the beans, & place in the slow cooker pot.
2.) Heat a small skillet on medium-high. Add the olive oil, let it get hot, then add the onions. Sauté, stirring frequently, until just turning translucent. Reduce heat to medium, add the garlic, stir and sauté until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
3.) Transfer onions & garlic to slow cooker pot. Add a cup of the water to the sauté pan, scraping up any browned bits. Add to pot.
4.) Add carrots, celery, tomato paste, vinegars, bay leaf, 2 tsp of the cumin, plus chili, chipotle, oregano, & cayenne to pot. Add vegetable broth & remaining water. Stir just enough to make sure everything is underwater. Set cooker for 9 hours on low.
5.) Half an hour before serving, stir the remaining 1/2 tsp cumin, as well as the salt and pepper into the pot. Juice the lime, and stir in half the juice now.
6.) Immediately before serving, stir in the other half of the lime juice. Very carefully (it’s hot!), use an immersion blender to partially blend the beans. I like to leave about half of them whole, blending the rest to thicken the soup. You could also use a food processor or blender, but be extra careful with those. The soup is hot, and the steam creates pressure – it could splat back out and burn you. Serve with a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt, and some chopped cilantro.

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