Spring has always been a celebration of new life, even in a religious aspect with the celebration of Easter, dating back thousands of years.
This transition time marks us in the way we eat. We turn away from heavy meals, to search for something comforting and satisfying, yet not to rich, in our attempt to energize and renew our bodies. Soups and stews with a little spin often find their way to the table, grilled meats begin to show up, and pastas tossed with lemon and fresh steamed vegetables.
Here is a recipe I keep coming back to again and again. I found it in a quick-fix dinner portion of Bon Appetit. It sounded good, so we decided to have a go at it. This is really fast if you don't make the beans, but I usually like to have a few types of beans on hand.
Another great benefit of this dish is that it is low calorie and full of flavor.
Black Bean Soup
adapted from Bon Appetit
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 carrot, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 chopped jalapeño chile with seeds
1 lbs black beans, simmered until tender
or 2 15- to 16-ounce cans black beans, undrained
1 tomato, roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups low-salt chicken broth
Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot, and garlic; sauté until vegetables begin to soften, about 6 minutes. Mix in cumin and jalapeño. Add beans, tomatoes , and broth; bring soup to boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook until carrots are tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer 3 cups of soup to blender and puree until smooth, or use a submersion blender and puree until a thickened texture is achieved. Return puree to pot. Simmer soup until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with cilantro, green onions, and sour cream.