Monday, February 24, 2014

Black Bean Soup (Slow Cooker)

I've decided that Wednesdays will be our slow cooker dinner days.  It's the day that (ideally) one of us goes to a Bible study after dinner.  So our Wednesday evenings go something like this: husband comes home and works girl wants to play/help/fuss while I try to make girl decides she is STARVING while I'm still trying to make dinner...we finally eat...someone dashes out the door for Bible study while the other puts baby girl to bed.  So the crockpot seems key to help eliminate some of the fussing baby and distracted mama steps.

This was our meal last Wednesday.  While neither of us actually made it to Bible study, we still really enjoyed this black bean soup.  I prepped everything in the morning, threw it all in the slow cooker and moved on with the day.

This created a thick, creamy, healthy soup that the three of us really enjoyed. My husband thought it was similar to a chili but it actually doesn't have chili powder.  I loved the consistency (and the toppings!) for this soup.  And besides all the toppings listed below, I served this with cornbread muffins and a salad, which was a great combination (although next time, I might try cubing and roasting sweet potatoes as a side dish instead)!

Black Bean Soup (Slow Cooker)
Taken from: Cook's Illustrated
Serves 6-8
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (I actually used stored bacon fat; you could also use coconut oil)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2-3 celery stalks, diced
  • 2-3 carrots, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (I omitted)
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 pound dried black beans, rinsed well
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon minced chipotle chiles
  • 2 teaspoons adobo sauce
  • juice of 1 lime
  • Toppings: chopped cilantro (about 1/4 cup), diced red onions, lime wedges, plain Greek yogurt or sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, sliced avocado
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add oil, then add onions, celery, carrots, cumin, oregano, garlic, red pepper flakes (if using) and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Saute, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft and golden-brown, about 10 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water to skillet, scraping bottom with a spatula or wooden spoon.
  2. Transfer vegetables to slow cooker. Add remaining water, chicken broth, beans, bay leaves, chipotles, and adobo sauce. Cover and cook on high for 6-7 hours or low for 8-10 hours. 
  3. Using a hand blender, blend to desired consistency (we prefer ours chunkier, so I only blended about half the beans). If you don't have a hand blender, ladle 1 1/2 cups beans and 2 cups liquid into food processor or blender, process until smooth, and return to pot.
  4. Taste, season with salt (1-2 teaspoons depending on broth) and black pepper. Add the juice of one whole lime.  Add more water, if needed to reach desired consistency. Serve with desired toppings.


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