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Black bean soup with fresh cilantro, grape tomatoes, black olives and avocado

Fresh bean soup
Aly Ben-Joseph

Black bean soup sounds too steamy to eat in the summer, but this recipe is topped with so many fresh ingredients, the heat doesn't matter. Black beans are an excellent source of protein and fiber. Combine brown rice with the black beans and a complete protein has just been created. This soup is loaded with delicious veggies, and topped with fresh cilantro which is considered a "super food." There are many variations to black bean soup, but this one has proven to be a favorite.

Black bean soup with fresh cilantro, grape tomatoes, black olives, and avocado

  • 4 cans of black beans
  • 1 cup of diced white onions
  • 2 chopped organic carrots
  • 4 diced red potatoes
  • 4 cups of vegetable broth
  • tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons of cumin
  • 2 teaspoons of chili powder
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
  • grape tomatoes
  • hot sauce to taste

Simple instructions for summer black bean soup:

This soup can be made in a slow cooker or a large soup pan. The key to this soup is to let it simmer on low for 3 to 4 hours. The longer the better. Just be sure to stir every half-hour or so.

First drain black beans, but do not rinse them. Pour them into the slow cooker. In a sauce pan coat the bottom with olive oil and set heat to just under medium. Saute onions, chopped carrots, and red potatoes until the onions become translucent and veggies begin to soften. Mix in garlic, cumin, salt, pepper, chili powder, hot sauce and tomato paste. If the mixture seems dry, add a few more drizzles of olive oil. Combine ingredients well. Finally, pour in the vegetable broth. Heat and stir ingredients until the tomato paste has completely dissolved. Never use high heat when using olive oil. Once the tomato paste has dissolved, pour this mixture over the black beans in the slow cooker. Place the lid on and let it go for at least 3 hours, remembering to stir often.

While the soup is cooking, chop cilantro, slice grape tomatoes in thirds, slice avocado and set aside on plates. Refrigerate.

When the soup has cooked for 3 hours or more, turn off heat and let sit until it is safe to handle the soup with a blender.

Lightly puree soup in batches. Lightly meaning do not make it too watery. The consistency should be thick with many whole beans still left in the soup. Just a couple of seconds should do the trick.

Pour the pureed soup back into a soup pan or slow cooker and reheat for 10 minutes or serve right away.

When ready, dish out the soup and top with cilantro, tomatoes, avocado, and two or three whole black olives without pits. For those that like it spicy shake in a little bit more hot sauce.

Other toppers: Dollop of sour cream, shredded cheddar, shredded jack cheese, crushed tortilla chips.

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