Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Zesty Black Bean Soup

I know it has been almost a month since I last posted, and I'm sorry. Well not too sorry because I've been spending the time with my newborn son. His name is Caleb and he was born on December 29 and was 6 pounds 14 ounces and 19 inches long. Everything went well with delivery and we are both healthy. That being said, I don't know how often I'll be able to post for the next little while. My goal is still once a week, and I'm hoping since I've officially started my post-baby diet that I will have lots of new and healthy recipes to share. Ok, ok, and still the occasional treat! I am still a chocolate addict afterall!

I tried this for dinner the other night with cornbread and it was yummy! I even liked eating it for lunch the next day! If you don't like spicy things, you could always substitute a can of regular diced tomatoes for the Rotel tomatoes. However, I thing the Rotel chiles add just enough spice to keep the soup from being boring. The original recipe I used came from $5 Dinners, but I also found this version for the crockpot. This is definitely something I will be making again as it is super cheap, but very healthy! You could make it even healthier by adding more vegetables, such as bell peppers, carrots, celery or even zucchini.

Zesty Black Bean Soup
2 cups dried black beans (or you could use 2 cans of drained and rinsed black beans)
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed (I used 1/4 tsp garlic powder)
1 tsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups of chicken stock (I used reconstituted boullion)
1 10 oz. can of Rotel diced tomatoes and green chilies, undrained
2 Tbsp cornstarch (**edited 2-18-10: I leave this out with good results)

1. Soak black beans overnight in a bowl full of water. If you forget to soak, as I often do, then add the beans to boiling water, remove from heat and let soak for 2 hours. Once soaked, drain and rinse.

2. Add the soaked and rinsed beans to large saucepan and cover with 2 inches of water. Add the chopped onion, crushed garlic, cumin, lemon juice, and salt in with the beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and cover. Cook for about an hour.

3. After an hour, add the homemade chicken stock and the undrained can of Rotel diced tomatoes and green chilies. Let the soup simmer for another 30 minutes, or until the beans have softened.

4. Then add the cornstarch. (A note from Erin on how to best add the cornstarch: Sift and whisk at the same time to keep from getting clumpy in the soup!)

**Edited 2-18-10: I prefer to make this in the crockpot by cooking my dried beans until tender then covering them by an inch in my crockpot. I then add the rest of the ingredients (except the cornstarch, I do not use it anymore) and cook on high for about 4 hours. You could probably use canned beans with this method, however, they might be a little on the mushy side. Maybe cooking it on low would help?**

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