On Monday morning(Nov 10), here in the Denver area of Colorado, it was 60 degrees and sunny, so once the three oldest were off to school, I took our youngest two girls out for a walk. We brought a soccer ball and passed it to each other along our green belt. By ten that morning, cold winds began to blow in, and they were strong. The girls and I brought all our stuff in from outside in the back yard, lawn chairs, jump rope, scooter etc., and by 1030, when we headed out the door for Costco, it was freezing, literally freezing; my phone read 27 degrees! What a change from that warm and sunny morning just an hour before! That afternoon snow began to fall. Unfortunately, we forgot to send a winter coat with Annabelle, our first grader, that morning. Bad mom award, right here! When I picked her up from school, along with Elisabeth and Charles, Annabelle told me that she was very cold during lunch recess. I was shocked they let her out without a coat! At our school in Utah, if you didn’t have a jacket when it was freezing, they kept you inside. Well, we live and learn. And she definitely remembered her coat this morning and I think she will from now on, and if she doesn’t, I will! By the way, today the high is 5 degrees and it is currently 1 degree outside. The low will be negative 3. Brrrr! The good thing about Colorado is it doesn’t last for long; we get warm and sunny days interspersed with cold and snowy ones.
When the temperature drops, I love to cook up soups and chili’s and all sorts of warm dishes. There’s something so comforting about having warm food in your tummy on a cold day. A couple of our children don’t love chunky soups so sometimes we’ll make smooth soups like tomato soup with grilled cheese, or this black bean soup. And my fifth grader, who doesn’t like beans at all, will usually eat some of this :). I think she’s a texture person.
This soup is fairly easy. I can usually have it done within about thirty minutes which is nice for those crazy busy days(read: every day). I also love crock-pot recipes for that very same reason.
You’ll start out by sautee-ing your veggies in olive oil, you’ll add in everything else minus your lime juice and optional toppings. Let it simmer for about 20 minutes, and then puree it all in a blender. I need to get one of those immersion blenders so I don’t have to transfer my hot soups into a blender; I always seem to spill or splatter, sometimes on the counter, sometimes on myself, which doesn’t feel good…maybe for Christmas :). Until then, I should probably use a ladle to pour most of it into the blender. Once it’s in there, blend it until it’s smooth, then add your lime juice, and pulse it a few times to combine.
Have I ever mentioned that I love my Blendtec blender? It’s amazing! Grinds anything! And Blendtec has a long warranty (I think it’s around 10 years) and amazing customer service. I’ve gone through 3 blender jars in the 4 years I’ve had it and haven’t had to pay a cent and the process was easy and fast. The motor has been great these four years and we haven’t had any problems with it. I use it every morning to make green smoothies, and then I use it probably weekly for other things like soups, chopping nuts, making flours from grains (though I have a nutrimill too which I use to grind most of my grains, but it can’t do flax seeds and the blendtec can) fruit smoothies, salad dressings etc.
It’s yummy and flavorful just as is!
You can also add a variety of toppings. We usually dip a few chips in while we eat, and add a little sour cream, grated cheddar cheese and chopped cilantro. Enjoy!
Black Bean Soup (lightly adapted from Our Best Bites)
*makes approximately 8 c soup
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp minced garlic (or 4 cloves)
3/4 c diced carrots (2 med carrots)
3/4 c diced celery (2 ribs)
1 c diced onion (1 med)
3 c black beans (2 cans, rinsed and drained)
1 3.5 oz can green chilies
3 c chicken or vegetable stock
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp oregano leaves
Optional Toppings: sour cream, tortilla chips, grated cheese, chopped cilantro
In a large stock pot, add olive oil, carrots, celery, onion and garlic. Cook over medium heat 5 minutes. Add in black beans, chilies, broth, salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin and oregano. Stir to combine. Simmer uncovered about 20 minutes or until carrots are tender. Remove from heat. Place soup in blender(or use immersion blender) and puree until smooth. Add in juice from 1/2 a lime or 1 Tbsp lime juice and pulse to combine. Ladle into soup bowls and add any optional toppings.