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Cozy up with this flavorful Black Bean Soup.
Recently, we had a wisdom tooth patient (should I say victim?) in our house. As her caregiver, I was all about being prepared with all manner of soft foods: applesauce, sorbet and ice cream, ripe avocados. And soup.
There’s something about soup, especially when the weather is turning to fall, that just makes a patient feel better. Taken care of. The flavor of the soup is secondary to its simple being.
But knowing my daughter was going to get real tired of all the soft stuff real fast, I set out to inject a little flavor into an otherwise bland-sounding menu. And here we have it, an Easy Black Bean Soup.
Easy Black Bean Soup is a recipe that can carry you through soup season. It’s smoky and herby and velvety. Not at all bland. And it’s a winner among all the ages. Time to cozy up!
1 pound dried black beans, rinsed and picked over
6 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
2 onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon ground cumin
6 cups chicken broth
½ cup chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
Freshly ground pepper
In a large saucepan, cover the beans with about 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil. Turn the heat off, cover the saucepan, and let the beans soak 1 hour. Drain the beans and set aside.
Cook the bacon in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. When the bacon has crisped, remove it to a paper towel-lined plate. Remove all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat from the pot. Add the onion, garlic, oregano, and cumin, and cook over medium heat until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the soaked beans, chicken broth, and cilantro to the pot and reduce the heat. Simmer, partially covered, for about 2 ½ hours, or until the beans have softened.
Using an immersion blender, blend the soup to the consistency of your choice. If you want a thinner consistency, stir in a little more chicken broth or water. Stir in the reserved bacon, then add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with cilantro leaves scattered over top.