Hearty Black Bean Soup
Ahh, I love soup. Especially on a cold, windy and rainy winter day. Thank God this is Atlanta and not the Northeast or Midwest and snow is rare. However, down here in the South, chaos begins to reign fairly quickly with even the slightest possibility of snow in the forecast and God forbid there is a single flake dancing in the sky... its over!
Regardless, it is always good to have hot soup and crusty bread ready for days like that. Hunker down, put on a good movie and eat soup. It's good for the soul, or was that chicken soup?
However, a bowl of hot soup with freshly baked Foccacia out of the oven, infusing your kitchen with the tantalizing aroma of fresh rosemary will be an amazing experience. Get some chorizo or your choice of sausage. Brown it off over medium-low heat until the edges become crusty, crispy and aromatic, then add it to your soup and it will become a full meal. The soup won't take long to make, especially if you buy all vegetables pre-diced. Naturally the soup is best the day of, but will be good for a couple of days refrigerated. My guess is, it will be eaten before it comes to that.
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Soup is a lot like a family. Each ingredient enhances the others; each batch has its own characteristics; and it needs time to simmer to reach full flavor. ~ Marge Kennedy
1 tablespoon canola oil
1-1/2 cups diced, yellow onions
1 cup diced carrots
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup diced celery stalk
2 (15.5) ounce cans black beans
3 cups chicken or veggie broth, store bought
1 tablespoon chipotle Tabasco, optional
salt and pepper mix to taste
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Chorizo, Kielbasa or your choice of sausage, optional
In a Dutch oven, or large sauce pot, heat the oil over moderate heat and add onions, carrots, garlic and celery.
Cook vegetables by stirring frequently for about 5 minutes or until onions become translucent.
Add beans, including juice, chicken broth and chipotle Tabasco and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
With a potato masher, mash beans until soup thickens up. Simmer for another 5 minutes and turn off heat.
Stir in cilantro, sausage (optional) and season with salt and pepper.
Note: To make it vegan, use vegetable broth and omit the sausage. There might be some vegan sausage out there the might make it suitable for the soup. Your call!