Black beans are a staple of our pantry, and we usually incorporate them into our lunch or dinner menus at least once a week. While I currently have a cupboard full of canned black beans, using dried black beans is even more economical for this black bean soup recipe. If you choose to use canned black beans in this recipe, be sure to rinse them well to remove as much salt as possible and lower your family’s sodium intake.
This recipe includes all sorts of leftovers – my favorite meals develop from trying to use up whatever bits and pieces remain at the end of the week. If we happen to have a slice or two of leftover lunch meat, such as low-fat turkey, chicken slices or low-fat ham, I’ll slice it up and throw it in as well. Green beans and red kidney beans can also be used to make this a heartier soup, or thicken it up by increasing the amount of rice. Serve this black bean soup recipe with a dollop of sour cream and shaved Monterey Jack cheese if you want a Mexican flair, or simply add a fresh leafy green salad and some homemade whole wheat rolls for a super frugal inexpensive soup that will warm you up on a cold winter’s day!
1 medium red onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced, or 1 tsp crushed garlic in oil
3 cups water
1 28 ounce can of black beans, rinsed
1 28 ounce can of whole stewed tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped green beans
1 cup of corn kernels
1 cup of brown rice, previously cooked or use Uncle Ben’s converted brown rice
OR 1 cup of whole wheat macaroni pasta, uncooked
2 bay leaves
fresh cilantro OR frozen cilantro cubes
1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses
2 tablespoons chili powder
How to Make Black Bean Soup:
In a large saucepan, saute diced onion and garlic in a little olive oil or grapeseed oil. Add water, canned or dried black beans, tomatoes, green beans, corn, rice or pasta, bay leaves, frozen cilantro if you are using it, blackstrap molasses and chili powder. Stir and heat to boiling. Once it is boiling, reduce heat to medium-low. Squeeze the juice of 1 lime into the soup and simmer for about 20 minutes. Just prior to serving, remove the bay leaves. Add chopped fresh cilantro to the soup and let it sit for a few minutes. This recipe is delicious with grated cheese served over it, and it makes about 5 good adult-sized portions.