Basic Black Bean Soup w/ Carrots

Black bean soup with carrots—-perfect for Halloween!

 

I love black bean soup and order it at Panera’s as well as a local restaurant that makes it really well. My recipe is easy, especially if you use organic black beans in a can from Eden Foods. There is no BPA lining in their cans, so I feel safe when I need to use them. However, I made this soup from dried black beans that I cooked in a crock pot; also easy. (Trader Joe’s organic black beans are supposed to be BPA free but have to write to their HQ to be sure.)

Utensils: cutting board and knife, 2 qt. sauce pan, small fry pan, crock pot if using dried beans
Prep. Time: With canned beans, only 10 minutes; with dried beans overnight soaking
Cook. Time: With canned beans about 15 minutes; with dried beans about one hr. cooking time
Categories: Vegan, GF, NSA (No sugar added)

Ingredients

2 cups organic, cooked black beans* (Not sure how many cups in the canned beans, so you can use one can or two, depending on how many people you want to serve.)
one small onion or the whites of scallions or leeks equal to 1/2 cup
one-two garlic cloves, chopped
one org. carrot, grated
optional: one small potato, scrubbed, cubed and cooked (Use a small saucepan)
olive oil
salt, pepper, cayenne & fresh or dried ginger powder to taste

Directions

*1. If using dried beans, soak one cup overnight in more than enough water to cover. Drain in the morning and place in a slow cooker to simmer about one hour or until tender, adding new water to cover. You can also simmer in a saucepan but be sure water does not evaporate and burn the beans. If using canned beans, just open the can or cans, drain and measure out about 2 cups. Save liquid for blender.

2. While the beans are cooking, prepare potato, if using, in a smaller saucepan with enough water to cover the potatoes.
If no potato is being used, proceed to sauteing the chopped onion and garlic in a small fry pan. While they are cooking, scrub and grate one carrot and set aside.

3. When beans are cooked, place in blender or food processor and add about 1/2 cup liquid from cooking or if using canned beans, measure out 1/2 cup of the liquid, adding water if needed to make 1/2 cup. Then add the onion, garlic, spices and puree until smooth, adding more water if needed. (I used about 3/4 cup all together.)

4. Heat and serve, spoon or pour soup into bowls, add cooked potato if using, and garnish with carrots. Serve hot.

Variations:

1. Add minced, organic yellow and red bell pepper instead of carrots.
2. Add slices of avocado instead of potatoes.
3. Puree some of the potato with the beans for greater thickness.
4. Saute another carrot with the onion & garlic.

Yield: About 2 1/2 cups of hardy soup

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