It’s kind of, sort of, maybe fall around here, so I’ve been cooking lots of soups in the crockpot lately. I’m a fan of making a large pot of something on the weekend and then eating for lunch or dinner for the rest of the week, which works out well with my hectic schedule of late. This week’s concoction was black bean:
Black beans are one of my favorite legumes (with chickpeas the undisputed top of the heap), so I really love black bean soup. My basic recipe for a large crockpot (~12 servings) of soup is:
4 c. dried black beans
1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
2 medium onions, diced
5-6 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (I like my soup relatively spicy–you may want to start with 1/4 tsp and adjust)
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp coriander
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dried basil
1 tbsp olive oil
1 bay leaf
~4 c. vegetable stock or water (I tend to be lazy and use water with a bouillon cube)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Cook beans overnight in the crockpot. Drain water out, pour in stock, and turn the crockpot to low.
In a frying pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil and saute onions and garlic for a few minutes, until onions are soft and translucent. Add in the herbs and spices and saute for a minute or two longer.
Add the onion mixture to the crockpot. Stir in cayenne pepper. Leave to cook overnight or ~8-10 hours (this recipe is very forgiving).
Next day, allow soup to cool and then puree about half of it in a food processor, then mix pureed and unpureed halves together. And then you have soup.
An optional add-in that I sometimes like is to puree a bag of frozen collards and add those in before the overnight cooking. It adds some extra vegetable content and really deepens the flavor of the soup, but isn’t too bitter or green-y tasting.