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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Recipe! Creamy Black Bean Soup

I love making my own recipes. I love taking a concept from...whoever, sometimes just a concept that I've come across enough times to remember, and then turning into my own. There's something about concocting your own recipe that leaves you with a sense of satisfaction...especially if that recipe turns out well!

Such is the story behind this creamy black bean soup. Nearly every Friday, I invite over whoever can make it and we cook, talk, laugh...sometimes watch movies, and always have a great time. Generally I'm the ringleader - I know what recipes we'll be trying and I have the necessary ingredients - but everyone helps with the cooking, eating, and clean up. It's a wonderful, fulfilling time. Cooking for others, with others, is one of my favorite ways to spend an evening.

This past Friday, I took all the information I've seen about making creamy black bean soups, added my own flare (i.e. seasonings) and served it with sweet potato fries and pumpkin bread. It was absolutely delicious, a total hit...and I want to share the recipe with you! This soup could easily be made vegan by omitting the cream. Enjoy!

Creamy Black Bean Soup

3 small yellow onions, chopped
1 green bell pepper, deseeded and chopped
6 large cloves garlic, chopped or put through press
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
1 fresh tomato, chopped
1 can fire roasted chopped tomatoes
2-3 cups cooked black beans
2 T extra virgin olive oil
2 c veggie stock
2 t salt (more to taste if necessary)
1/4 t ground black pepper
1 t chili powder
1 t chipotle powder
1/2 t cumin
dash of cinnamon
2 T heavy cream

1. Warm olive oil in a large dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat and add onion. Season onions as they cook with dash chili powder, chipotle powder, cumin and salt, stir well and cook 2 minutes before adding garlic. When onions are translucent then add both peppers, cook an additional 2 or 3 minutes.

2. Add remaining ingredients (except cream), adjusting stock for consistency. Ingredients should be just covered by liquid. Simmer until flavors are incorporated, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Remove half to three-fourths of the soup and blend in blender or food processor. Stir blended soup back into the rest, add the cream, and allow to come back to a low simmer. Serve with sour cream and sharp cheddar, if you like!

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