countdown to 2012: soups & stews

 Countdown to 2011 with Finding Joy in My Kitchen

This week I am counting down to 2012 with SnoWhite from Finding Joy in My Kitchen. She is inviting readers to join in the fun by sharing their very best recipes of 2011. Today’s theme is soups and stews. This was an easy one for me. My black bean soup became one of my most-prepared quick dishes of the year. It’s fast, healthy, and spicy. All of my favorite things! So click on the recipe title to get all the delicious details!

Spicy Black Bean Soup

spicy black bean soup

cooking thursday: recipe for spicy black bean soup

I don’t know about you, but I love soups any time of year. I started playing around with this recipe last summer and it has become one of my favorites! In my opinion, it’s almost (almost) as good as Panera’s vegetarian black bean soup — my all-time favorite! Although I have not tested this recipe in a slow-cooker, I’d bet that you could throw everything in and let it simmer away while you’re out.

Spicy Black Bean Soup

spicy black bean soup

2 15-oz. cans of black beans
1 cup chicken stock
1/4 c. diced onion
1 fresh jalapeno, minced
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. cider vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. chili powder

cilantro, lime wedges, extra chopped onions, and plain yogurt or sour cream

Pour the canned beans along with their liquid into a medium sauce pan. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Gently bring the soup to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for one hour. Add more water or broth as necessary.

For a creamy soup, use an immersion blender or add soup, in batches, to a blender until it reaches your desired consistency.

Ladle into bowls and garnish with cilantro, onions, yogurt or sour cream, and lime wedge. The squeeze of lime adds a lot of flavor and freshness to the soup. It’s good without it, but it’s better with it 😉

Be sure to visit Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom to check out other delicious recipes!