Spring evenings are possibly my favorite times to eat soup. You can feel the warm weather knocking at your door, but by dinner there’s still a little chill in the air. Too cold for salad or a burger, there’s nothing better at this dinner-moment than cozying up to a warm bowl of soup. This Black Bean Soup for One can support all of your favorite Mexican-style toppings– and for that reason alone it has earned my love! It’s also delicious plain, so use what you have. The other huge bonus to this recipe is that it’s so very convenient and quick to put together.
This recipe is adapted from Cooking Light. In the original form it’s quite involved, including cooking the beans from dry. While I admire anyone who has the gumption to do this, I have always been fine with a good can of ready-cooked beans, organic if you like. When I realized that one can of beans made the perfect portion, I knew I had hit the jackpot. What could be simpler?
Chop up an onion. Divide it roughly into two-tablespoon portions. Use one for this soup, and put the rest into little zip-top baggies. Seal well, pushing out all the air you can. Store the baggies in a screw-top container in your freezer (to contain any onion-y aromas), and voilà– ready-prepped onions for all kinds of recipes. Defrost in the microwave 30 seconds, and you’re ready to go. Like so:
But back to the beans. Open the can, rinse and drain the beans, then empty them onto a dinner-size plate. Roughly mash with a fork– you can leave a few beans whole, but most should be mashed. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, and sautee until translucent. Add spices and salt, and continue to stir, 1 minute.
Add chicken broth and mashed beans to the pan. Bring to a boil, then partially cover the pot and reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. At the end of cooking, you can add a tablespoon or so of water to adjust the consistency if needed. Pat yourself on the back, because your soup is done! Awesome, no?
I love Mexican-food flavors, so my list of toppings for this soup is endless. Some of my favorites are avocado, sour cream, tomato, salsa, jalapeño pepper, black olives, cilantro, cotija cheese, hominy, cheddar, various styles of hot sauce, green onion, tortilla chips, and ground chipotle pepper. That will give you a good start!
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