Monday, May 7, 2012

Black Bean Soup

This is one of my go-to recipes on the nights when I'm craving comfort food (without the calories). Its hearty but healthy, cost-effective and really easy to make. Crazily enough, while I was working on this post, my mom was putting it on the menu for Saturday's cooking class. Clearly, this soup is a family fave.

Beans are a great source of fiber, protein and antioxidants. You get full quickly due to the beans' high water content, which helps keep your waistline trim. Adding a bit of greek yogurt as a garnish ups the protein even more. You can also skip the bacon altogether for a vegetarian version, but if you do keep it, just make sure you buy bacon with no nitrites added.

As a sidenote - a lot of women ask me what they can make for both themselves and their meat-loving husbands. This soup is great because it helps you keep the calories low, but its hearty enough for him. And if your hubs wants added calories, he can pile on the cheese and have some crusty bread on the side.

5 slices bacon, finely chopped
1 medium white onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, diced
7 ounces reduced sodium chicken broth (I like Swanson's brand)
3/4 cup canned chopped tomatoes (I like S&W brand, no salt added)
1/2 tbl chili powder (optional)
2 (15 1/2 ounce) cans black beans, drained but not rinsed
Kosher salt & black pepper
1/2 bunch cilantro
Juice of 1/2 lime

For garnish:
Thinly sliced scallions
Greek yogurt (better for you than sour cream!)
Grated cheddar (optional)

Put the bacon into a large heavy pot and place it over medium heat. Cook until it starts to give up its fat, about 4 minutes.
Stir in the onions and cook, stirring, until they start to turn translucent, about 4 minutes.
Stir in the garlic and cook about 1 minute.
Add the broth, tomatoes and chili powder. Stir in the beans, turn the heat to high and bring to a boil.
Adjust the heat so soup is bubbling gently and cook 10 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, pick stems off cilantro, wash and shake dry. Chop cilantro coarsely and stir into soup when it has been simmering 10 minutes.
Cook until soup is thickened, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the lime juice.
Serve with garnishes.

This recipe is enough for about 4 servings. Double the recipe if you're making it for a big group or want a ton of leftovers!


  1. Hi there, this is a really nice post. It would be great if you linked to it in my Food on Friday series. Food on Friday – Bacon

  2. I made this last night, and it is SO GOOD!! And super easy to make! Thanks for the great recipe!