Black Bean and Fire Roasted Tomato Soup
¼ c. olive oil
1½ c. chopped onions (reserve ½ cup for garnish)
½ c. chopped celery
1/3 c. chopped carrots
2-3 medium jalapeño peppers, seeded and diced
3 15-oz. cans black beans, rinsed and drained
8 c. water or stock, or half of each (reducing liquid will yield a thicker soup)
1 15-oz. can chopped fire roasted tomatoes
1 T. ground cumin
2-3 T. ground chipotle chile powder (more or less, to taste)
1 c. chopped cilantro, plus a little extra for garnish
1 lime, juiced
Salt and pepper
Heat a soup pot and add the oil. When the oil’s hot, but not smoking, add 1 cup of the chopped onions, the celery, carrots, and jalapeños. Add a pinch of kosher salt to help exude water and flavor and sauté the vegetables over medium heat, being careful not to let them brown.
When the vegetables are soft, about ten minutes, add the beans, the water or stock, and the tomatoes. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat, and let it simmer for about one hour. When everything is very tender, and the soup has begun to thicken, stir in the cumin and chipotle powder.
Remove the soup pot from the heat, and using an emersion blender, roughly blend it until it’s creamy but you still see some whole beans. If you’re using a blender, blend just a little over half of the soup then add it back to the remaining soup.
Stir in the cilantro and heat again, stirring often to keep the thickened beans from sinking and sticking to the bottom of the pan. Serve the soup hot, topping each serving with some of the reserved chopped onion, a sprinkle of cilantro, and a good squeeze of fresh lime. You can also top this with a dollop of Tofu Sour Cream, but it’s also wonderful topped with broken corn tortilla chips.
If you use less liquid and don’t blend this soup, you can serve it as a stew over rice or day old cornbread.