How is everyone doing with their New Year’s resolutions? Are you like me and just trying to return to your better habits post-holidays? This soup feels just like what I need on a dreary January day. It’s bright and spicy and filling and good to eat. And it’s an easy soup that starts with pantry ingredients that you likely already have.
Begin your soup with some aromatics, add the best quality canned tomatoes and black beans, a little stock, and there you go. Change up the garnishes with a variety of rich, crunchy, green and spicy additions and you have a bowl of goodness to fortify you for the day. Keep the soup vegetarian and vegan with vegetable stock, or use chicken stock or water, if that’s what you have. Top with rich avocado and serve some crunchy taco chips alongside. Add a squeeze of fresh lime, or a few drops of apple cider vinegar. Cilantro is not to everybody’s liking, but I am fan. If you’re not, use parsley or basil, it will be every bit as good. Dairy toppings might include sour cream, yogurt, or shredded cheese. Take this basic recipe and make it your own; it could be the start of a new healthy soup habit.
Spicy Tomato and Black Bean Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup chopped white or yellow onion
- 2 fat cloves garlic , minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 15 ounce can whole tomatoes
- 1 15 ounce can black beans
- 1/2 cup best quality vegetable stock (or chicken stock or water), plus more to adjust consistency
- 1 heaping tablespoon finely minced sundried tomatoes (the kind that are marinated in olive oil)
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro , plus additional for garnish
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper , to taste
- Fresh lime , avocado, taco chips, sour cream, shredded cheese, as you like, for garnish
Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a non-reactive saucepan. Add the chopped onion and a good pinch of salt, stir, and cover the pot. Let the onion sweat for 4 to 5 minutes, until softened, but not brown. Add the minced garlic and let cook until fragrant, about a minute more. Add the cumin, coriander, and cayenne to the mixture and stir. Let the spices cook with the onion and garlic for another 30 seconds.
Add the tomatoes, with their juice, to the saucepan and break them up a little with a spoon. Add the 1/2 cup of stock, partially cover the pan, and let the mixture simmer for 5 minutes. Add the black beans, with their liquid, the sundried tomatoes, and the chopped cilantro. Simmer the soup for another 5 minutes.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and transfer about 1/2 the contents to a blender. Puree until smooth. (You could also use an immersion blender and process the soup to your desired consistency.) Add the puree back to the soup in the saucepan and check for seasoning. Add additional salt, a few grinds of pepper, a squeeze of lime juice (or a few drops of vinegar) to taste. Adjust the consistency of the soup with a little more stock, if you like your soup "soupy". When the soup is piping hot and seasoned to your liking, portion into bowls and serve with a variety of garnishes.