This is an inexpensive way to provide you and your whole family with highly nutritious, tasty meals for days. Black beans are an excellent source of protein, as well as many other key nutrients, and whether you buy them canned or dry (which will require soaking the beans overnight), they are surprisingly cheap.
This is a recipe to try when you have some time to hang around the house, as it does take several hours for the soup to cook, but when you are done you will have enough soup to feed a family of four for 3 meals. So simply freeze what you don’t eat right away, and know that you won’t have to cook for at least a couple of days in the future!
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 3.5 hours
- 1 pound dried black beans, rinsed and soaked overnight in water, or 2 8oz. cans black beans
- 1 tbsp olive oil (canola oil or any vegetable oil can be substituted)
- 3-5 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced; or substitute garlic powder to taste
2 bay leaves (optional)
- 1 16 oz. container low-sodium chicken stock (if the grocery budget is tight, you can simply use water and compensate with your seasonings)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Heat a large soup pot over medium high heat. Add the oil and allow it to heat up. Add the carrots and a pinch of salt (this helps to draw out the moisture in the carrots as they cook). Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the onion and another pinch of salt, and cook until the onions soften and become translucent, stirring occasionally.
Once the onions are clear, reduce the heat to medium and add the garlic. Make sure to stir consistently so the garlic doesn’t burn, about 3-5 minutes. Add the black beans and stir these into the carrot/onion/garlic mixture for a couple of minutes while you increase the heat to high. Add the chicken stock (or water), stir well, and cover to allow the soup to come to a boil. Once it reaches a rolling boil, remove the lid and allow to boil for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. At this point add the bay leaves if you are using them.
Reduce heat to the point where it is at a low simmer, and cook it at this heat, stirring occasionally, for about 3-4 hours, or until the beans are tender and the liquid has thickened. You may need to add more stock/water during this, or you may need to cook longer, in order to get the thickness you want.
This is the basic recipe, but feel free to experiment. Try adding some cumin if you have it around the kitchen. Use more or less garlic, depending on your preferences. Perhaps throw in a little hot sauce. You really can’t go wrong. Serve over rice. Serve over noodles. Serve by itself with a dollop of sour cream. Whatever you decide to do, enjoy the meal!