Black Bean Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
1-1/2 cups chopped onion (1 large)
2 cups thinly sliced carrots (4-5 medium)
1 cup thinly sliced celery (2 stalks)
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 12 oz. bags of black beans (follow soak instructions on bag)
1 can (14.5 oz.) low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup beer*
1-1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
* may substitute 1/2 cup chicken broth or water.

lemon or lime slices
sour cream or plain yogurt
cooked white or yellow rice
shredded Cheddar cheese

In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat; sauté onion, carrots, celery and garlic for 3 minutes. Cover; cook 10 minutes, stirring several times until vegetables are very soft. Transfer vegetables to food processor or blender. Add beans. Purée until very smooth. Return mixture to saucepan. Drain and rinse remaining beans; add to soup. Stir in broth, beer, cumin and cayenne. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook uncovered 10 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Serve with squeeze of lemon or lime, or choice of condiments.

Makes about 7 cups. Serves 6

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