Black Bean Soup with Cumin and Cilantro
Source: Adapted from Vegetarian Soups by Deborah Madison
Makes: 2 Quarts
- 2 cups dried black beans (or 3 cans of black beans)
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 1 small carrot, finely diced
- 3 celery ribs, finely diced
- 1 green bell pepper, finely diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper, or to taste
- 1/3 bunch of cilantro chopped
- Optional garnishes: 1/2 cup of sour cream, juice of 1/2 a lime, more chopped cilantro, avocado, chopped tomato, diced red onion
- If using canned beans skip to step 2. If using dried beans, rinse the beans and put them in a pressure cooker with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 10 cups of water. Bring the pressure to high, then maintain it for 30 minutes. Release the pressure or let it fall naturally.
- Heat oil in a medium saucepan. Add the onions, carrots, celery, green pepper, and garlic. Cook over medium-high heat until the onion has softened. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and add the cumin, paprika bay leaves, and cayenne. Lower the heat and cook for 10 minutes longer, stirring occasionally and taking care not to let the spices burn. Add 1 cup of water and the cilantro and continue to cook until the onion is soft, about 8 minutes.
- Strain the beans and add them to the onion mixture and cook over low heat, covered, for 20 minutes. Taste for salt. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup or you can leave it unprocessed if you prefer.
- To garnish: Mix the sour cream, lime juice, and 3 tablespoons of chopped cilantro and season with a pinch of salt. Serve a spoonful in each bowl of soup and add some avocado that has been diced up. You can add some chopped tomato or red onion as well.