Black Bean Soup with Chipotle Chiles

We are having bizarre weather in Southern California right now. One day it is 90 degrees and the next it is 55 degrees and drizzling all day. The past few days have thankfully been those of the cold and dreary type, which in my mind makes me crave a rich, soul-satisfying soup.

A Facebook friend had mentioned making a spicy bean soup on Sunday, which led me to remember a black bean soup recipe that I had come across a little while ago. What made this soup even more appealing was the fact that it was made in the CrockPot, which meant that I was free to enjoy my day without tending to a soup.

This soup could not be easier. The only work required is chopping up the onions, bell peppers, garlic and chipotle chiles. I had the soup in the CrockPot within 30 minutes of starting. The soup is then cooked on high for six hours. Recipes like this one convince me that anyone can cook.

After being out with friends for the afternoon, I returned home to a house filled with the rich aroma of earthy black beans with a hint of the smokiness from the chipotles.

The soup not only smelled really good, but tasted amazing too, especially considering the ease with which it is put together. As you can see in the picture, I topped the soup with diced tomato and avocado, a dollop of sour cream, and chopped cilantro. The soup had a great black bean flavor but the various components of the dish are what made it in my opinion. The chipotle chiles contributed a smoky spicy flavor, while the cilantro and lime added a lively fresh component. The sour cream and avocado added a creamy richness to the dish.

Claire took some of the leftover soup for lunch today and said it tasted even better today.

To entice you even more, the soup is really healthy, especially if you use the nonfat yogurt as the recipe calls for. According to the website the nutrition facts per serving are: calories, 314; total fat, 4 g; saturated fat 1 g; cholesterol, 1 mg; fiber, 18 g.

BLACK BEAN SOUP WITH CHIPOTLE CHILES

6 main course servings

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium-size red onions, chopped
1 medium-size red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium-size green bell pepper, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 teaspoons ground cumin
1 16-ounce package dried black beans
1 tablespoon chopped canned chipotle chiles*
7 cups hot water (or chicken stock for added richness)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 cup plain nonfat yogurt
1/2 cup chopped seeded plum tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium-size red onions, chopped
1 medium-size red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium-size green bell pepper, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 teaspoons ground cumin
1 16-ounce package dried black beans
1 tablespoon chopped canned chipotle chiles*
7 cups hot water (or chicken stock for added richness)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 cup plain nonfat yogurt
1/2 cup chopped seeded plum tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Preparation

Heat olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and both bell peppers and sauté until beginning to brown, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cumin; stir 1 minute. Transfer mixture to 6-quart slow cooker. Add beans and chipotles, then 7 cups hot water. Cover and cook on high until beans are very tender, about 6 hours. Transfer 2 cups bean mixture to blender; puree until smooth. Return puree to remaining soup in slow cooker. Stir in lime juice, salt, and pepper.

Ladle soup into bowls. Spoon dollop of yogurt into each bowl. Sprinkle with tomatoes and cilantro and serve.

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3 thoughts on “Black Bean Soup with Chipotle Chiles

  1. Sounds great, Andrew. Do you have an idea of how this might differ for cooking on the stovetop? Soak beans overnight, then a couple hours on the stove? Or could it a pot be put in the oven all day? As you would guess, we don’t have a crockpot.

    • Hey Larry…I definitely think you could do this soup on the stove, and probably quicker. I was looking at other recipes online, and some recipes suggested using canned black beans, which would mean you could have the soup ready to go in 45 minutes or less. However, the nice thing about the CrockPot is being able to leave it unattended. Cooking beans on the stove, you generally have to stir so that they do not burn, but I had no such problems with the CrockPot. Hope this helps.

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