I find that my creativity in cooking generally kicks in when finances get tight. I am more limited in the ingredients that I can choose due to the budget. Our family likes beans and we eat them a lot even when money isn't tight. However, I try to find other recipes for beans when I need to use beans to help stretch the budget. Recently I saw a recipe for Black Bean Soup and I thought I would give it a try. It has no meat in it, and I was a little concerned that it would lack flavor. I had never eaten this variety of soup before, but I thought it was worth a try. I discovered a new family favorite with this soup. It is cheap to make and healthy too boot, which makes the resident health nut in our home very pleased. Hope you enjoy!!!
grace and peace,
Black Bean Soup
1 pound dry black beans
3 (14 oz) cans ready to serve chicken broth
2 cups chopped onions
2 minced garlic cloves
2 Tablespoon Vegetable oil
1 (10 oz) can tomatoes and green chilies, undrained
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon hot sauce
Sort and rinse beans; place in a dutch oven. Cover with 2 inches water above beans. Bring beans to a boil; cover and let stand for 1 hour. Drain beans, and return to dutch oven. Add chicken broth to beans in dutch oven. Partially cover and cook over medium low heat 3 hours or until beans are tender. (Make sure to keep liquid on beans. I added a little bit of water during the cooking process). Stir occasionally.
Once beans are cooked, then you start this part. Saute chopped onion and garlic in hot oil in a large skillet over medium heat until tender. Reduce heat to medium; stir in undrained tomatoes and next 3 ingredients. Cook 5 more minutes. Process tomato mixture and 2 cups of beans in a food processor, pulsing 3 times or until mixture is blended. (I use a stick blender for this job. A blender would also work). Stir into remaining beans in dutch oven. Give a quick stir and ladle into bowls, top with sour cream and cheddar cheese if desired. My kids like this served with Fritos, but I like it just plain. (Just a side note: I added some home canned jalapenos with the tomatoes to make it a bit more spicy).