Sunday, November 27, 2011

Easy Black Bean Sweet Potato Soup

        This soup definitely won't be winning any beauty awards. It's chunky and fairly unattractive, especially after spending a bit of time in the pot or fridge. It might, however, contend well in an easiest-not-out-of-a-can-soup-to-make contest, so don't dismiss it too quickly! This is an easy recipe. I was feeling like something healthy and warm for dinner last night and decided I'd do something with the 2 cans of black beans in the pantry. I love black bean soup.  It feels hearty and yummy without tons of weighty calories. It's high in fiber and protein and so great for you. With a hint of cumin, a few delightful dices of sweet potato, and a final dollop of sour cream on top, this one turned out great. I kind of haphazardly tossed things in the pan for this recipe (this, i rarely do. i tend to fit in the by-the-book, measure-everything-out-to-the-tea baker category; thus, i must say i'm proud of my experimental efforts), so my ingredient list is a bit of a rough estimate. It takes maybe 20 minutes or so to prepare and cook, and requires little cooking skill. I say this mostly because two coworkers of mine, Danae and Jessica, recently said they needed something uncomplicated that they felt like they could do. I think this recipe fits that description, girls, so you should try it! Really. No, really. You can do it!

serves 4

2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
3-4 cups chicken broth, low sodium
2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 sweet potato, peeled, cooked, and diced (i was lazy and didn't peel mine this time)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper, to taste
a few dashes celery seed, optional
sour cream, optional

1. Prep onions, garlic, and potato. To cook sweet potato, peel it, then wrap it with saran wrap and cook in microwave for about 3 minutes. Remove saran and dice potato as big or small as you'd like (it's ok if still a bit firm in the middle). Set aside.
2. Melt butter in medium soup pot on medium heat.
3. Add onions and saute until translucent (around 3 minutes), then add minced garlic and saute for another minute.
3. Add drained beans, diced sweet potato, and broth, stirring all together gently. Bring to boil on high heat. 
4. Once boiling, turn heat to low, add cumin, salt, pepper, and celery seed, cover, and let simmer for about 10 minutes.
6. Add more seasonings to your personal taste. When ready to serve, pour into bowls and top with sour cream. Chopped, fresh cilantro would be a great addition, as well.

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