Monday, December 7, 2015
Easiest Black Bean Soup
Warm and earthy, perhaps a little salty... Black Bean Soup warms the soul. Healthy as well as belly filling, a slice of crusty bread makes a meal. Or if you are my daughter, Liv, a side of tortilla chips makes the dish a tasty dip. Or, if you are my son, a tortilla wrap makes it a very messy burrito.
However you serve it, the beauty of this recipe is the ease of preparation. Minimal ingredients find their way into a pot for maximum flavor. After a 20 minutes simmer a quick spin with an immersion blender lets you decide silky or chunky.
And do I have an immersion blender for you! Add this powerful beauty to any foodie gift giving list and you'll have a best friend for life. May I introduce the OXO On Illuminating Digital Immersion Blender?
With an easy to use dial allowing adjustments through a range of speeds the choice of delicate blending or powerful pureeing is up to you. Note powerful as a keyword here... using the blender for the first time in our Coconut Sweet Potato Soup, the ingredients transformed from chunky to silky in mere seconds. Smooth like I've never seen before... pure puréed perfection.
Illuminating, you may ask? Yes, illuminating, literally. With a decently bright headlamp just at the top of the stick, the immersion blender brings better light into your pot on our dark winter nights (and poorly lit kitchens like mine). A feature Liv though was so cool she took to blending water in the dark just to try it out. If only I had taken video...
The nylon head covering the powerful blade makes the blender safe for even your most delicate pans, but it's the ease of cleanup that made me smile. The stick easily pops off after use, and while it's not meant for the dishwasher a quick rinse directly after use makes clean up a breeze with no worry of damaging the electric parts or keeping the plug out of the water.
But one of my favorite reasons to use an immersion blender is the ability to see and control how smooth you want your final product. For soups such as this Black Bean version, I like a chunkier texture that on past occasions became over processed when using a counter blender. And besides, how many times have you poured hot soup into a blender only to have the steam splatter your face after lifting the lid?
Have I sold you on the OXO On yet? Good. Now let me sell you on this soup.
Aromatic onions and garlic sautee with oregano and cumin before adding canned beans. Simmering in broth and water until soft, all that's remaining are seasonings and my favorite part - the garnish.
Ripe avocado, chopped cilantro and a drizzle of sublime Coconut Lime Cashew Crema bring irresistible flavors, textures and colors to the bowl. Be it soup, dip or burrito filling, your family will be returning for seconds and once again you're a superhero.
Easiest Black Bean Soup
30 minutes from idea to bowl, this earthy, healthy soup is welcome on my table any day. Blend to either a silky smoothness or a more chunky version, the choice is yours. Flavors abound from aromatics and spices, but a topping of avocado and Coconut Lime Crema bring the bowl to mouthwatering levels.
1 small onion (about 1/2 cup), chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1-2 tsp oil (I use good quality olive or avocado)
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp cumin
1 cup vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups water
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
more water as needed
salt to taste
Coconut Lime Crema (click for recipe)
lime quarters to squeeze over soup
In a medium pot place the onion, garlic and oil (alternatively, omit oil and use a small amount of water for oil free cooking). Heat over medium heat until fragrant. Add the oregano and cumin, stir to mix. Sautee for about 2 minutes, or until onion begins to soften.
Add the broth and water, then the black beans. Bring to a simmer and simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes.
Using an immersion blender, purée the soup to desired thickness (velvety smooth or chunky - your choice!) adding additional water as necessary for desired consistency. Taste for seasonings and adjust salt as necessary.
Ladle into bowls and top with your choice of garnish along with a squeeze of lime.
Makes 3 large bowls or 4 smaller.
Liv Life Note: Liv Life received a sample of the OXO On Illuminating Immersion Blender for review but was not paid to write this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own, I am sharing this product because it absolutely worth sharing! Thank you OXO for the opportunity, I have a new go-to tool in the kitchen.