Recipe | "Smoky Black Bean Soup" (Meat or Vegetarian!) by Sue Ready

Cook's Notes: Need to warm up after the recent snowfall? Try Smoky Black Bean Soup. This soup has some ingredients that you might not normally think would be in a soup but trust me it works. It has just the right amount of smokiness with the addition of coffee and a bit of a kick added with several spices. I used Italian sausage but bacon or chicken work well too. Need a vegetarian meal? No problem-just omit the meat and substitute vegetable broth for chicken broth. Prep the vegetables ahead for easier assembly. Top your soup with some shredded cheese and diced avocados plus a few tortilla chips thrown in for good measure.

The recipe makes 6 servings depending on the size of the bowl. I was inspired by Real Food Fall 2017 publication by Lunds & Byerlys.

  • 1 lb. Italian sausage or chicken or 8 slices of bacon
  • 1 TB. olive oil
  • 1 cup each diced carrots, onions, celery
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. each red pepper flakes, sugar, cumin and smoked paprika 
  • 1 TB. tomato paste
  • 2 TB. each dark balsamic vinegar and Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes (basil and garlic) 
  • 1 box (32 oz.) low sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup brewed coffee
  • 1-2 cans (15 oz.) black beans rinsed and drained
  • 2 TB. each cornstarch and water
  • 2 TB. fresh lime juice 
  • Cook meat, crumble and set aside.
  • Heat olive oil in soup pot. Saute onions, carrots and celery 5 minutes. Add in garlic and saute 2 minutes more. Cover and on a low heat sweat vegetables for 5 minutes. 
  • Uncover and stir in red pepper flakes, sugar, cumin, paprika, and tomato paste. Whisk to mix well. Add in balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire, diced tomatoes, broth, coffee and beans. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer 30 minutes.
  • Mix cornstarch with water, add to soup mixture and cook until slightly thickened about 10 minutes. 
  • Stir in the lime juice right before serving. 

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