Finally! Something on the lighter side.
As I mentioned in my last post, I know there has been a lot of heavier dishes on the blog as of late, and that isn’t an accident. It’s the holiday season! And yes, while it probably doesn’t do anyone much good to eat cheesecake and pasta and calzones all the time, it’s the only time of year where you can kinda get away with it. Kinda.
(I spy a photographer in that bowl reflection, haha)
The other good thing about this time of year is that it’s soup season. Soups are probably my favorite type of meal to make and eat. There’s just something inherently satisfying about a bowl of hot food on a cold night. Also, soups generally come together quickly and CAN serve as a complete meal. I know that I am probably strange, but I find chopping veggies actually quite therapeutic. I don’t know what it is, but it always soothes my mind. Soups and stews serve as a chance to chop things! Ya know, if you’re into that sort of thing…like me.
So, to switch things up a bit and to give you a break from all the belt-busting meals I’ve been sharing, here’s a recipe for a big ol’ pot of health. Cozy, comforting health.
This soup is chock-full of veggies, beans, and other goodness. More importantly, it tastes pretty darn good. I almost always have these ingredients stocked in my pantry, so I can throw this together on a weeknight and have a healthy, well-balanced, and hearty meal in no time.
I absolutely love something creamy on top of veggie soups like this. The jalapeño cream adds a nice touch of spice and definitely some bright tang. Don’t skip it! It’s healthy too (mostly made up of nonfat Greek yogurt)! Plus, it makes it pretty! Let’s face it, there’s nothing that glamorous about black bean soup. It could use some sprucing.
Depending on what you like, you can leave your soup kinda chunky or puree it until it’s smooth. I’ve had black bean soup both ways, and I have to say, I’m somewhere in the middle (as you can see). It’s completely customizable to your tastes.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go reheat a bowl of this STAT and get into weekend mode. It’s the perfect way to end a long week.
Black Bean Soup with Jalapeño Cream (makes 6 servings)
For the Soup:
2 tablespoons oil
1 large onion, finely diced
3 stalks of celery, finely diced
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
3 (15-oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2-3 tablespoons hot sauce
4 cups vegetable stock
1 (15-oz) can diced tomatoes
Fresh cilantro, for garnish
Fresh lime wedges, for garnish
For the Jalapeño Cream:
¼ cup sour cream
¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and finely diced
Juice of 1 lime
1. For the Soup: heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, bell pepper, and jalapeño and sauté for 10 minutes, or until the veggies are soft and translucent. Add in the garlic and spices and cook for another minute.
2. Add in the stock and diced tomatoes and bring to a simmer.
3. Meanwhile, drain and rinse the canned beans. Mash about ⅓ of the beans with a fork until a paste forms (this will help thicken the soup). Add the beans and hot sauce to the pot and stir to combine. Simmer the soup over medium-low heat, for about 20 minutes, or until it has started to thicken. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
4. For the Jalapeño Cream: while the soup is simmering, place all the ingredients for the cream in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
5. To serve, ladle bowls full of the soup and top off with a drizzle of the jalapeño cream and a sprinkling of fresh cilantro and lime wedges. Serve hot.