You know, I have to admit, I’ve always been a little torn on black bean soup. Yes – it almost always tastes delicious, but as far as aesthetics go? Let’s just say it’s not the most attractive soup out there. It can tend toward … sludge-looking tendencies. Delicious sludge, but sludge nonetheless.
So I decided to make a black bean soup recipe with a little more oomph to it and a little less sludge. I pureed it like your traditional black bean soup, but then I add some whole beans and a couple of cups of brown rice at the end. Prettier! Though … okay, fine, still a little sludgy.
So my experiment in the looks department was slightly failed, but the soup? A definite winner. Thick, hearty, comforting. And healthy, too! Looks-wise, what what really makes the difference are the toppings. A little masquerade mask. Why not?
Some colorful chopped tomatoes, a bit of fresh cilantro, a wedge of lime, maybe a plop of sour cream (though, of course, that makes it vegetarian instead of vegan).
Oh, happy soup.
I love the addition of rice to this soup – for us, it turns it from a side or a starter to a one-dish meal. And, it goes without saying, I am especially gaga because it’s a Crock Pot soup.
Oh, how I worship the Crock Pot and its ability to give me a few minutes of my life back at dinnertime. I would so much rather read Hop on Pop to my little girl than slave over the stove during prime family time.
Fox in Socks, though, keep that one away. It makes my tongue (and head) hurt.
Crock Pot Black Bean and Brown Rice Soup
- 4 15- ounce cans black beans (drained but not rinsed (reserve one can for the end of the process))
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup diced yellow onion (about half a medium onion)
- 1 cup diced carrot (about 2 medium carrots)
- 1 medium jalapeno pepper (seeds removed and finely diced (about 1/4 cup))
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic (2 - 3 medium cloves)
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste if desired
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 10 dashes Tabasco sauce (or to taste)
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- Fresh lime wedges
- Diced tomatoes (cilantro leaves, diced scallions, avocado, sour cream (if you eat dairy) for topping, if desired)
- Add three cans of black beans to a 3-quart or larger Crock Pot.
- Add the olive oil to a large saute pan over medium heat. Add onion and carrots; saute for about five minutes until the onion softens and begins to turn transluscent. Add jalapeno pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper and saute, stirring, for another minute. Add tomato paste, vegetable broth, and Tabasco sauce, stirring until tomato paste is dissolved. Pour into Crock Pot over beans.
- Cook on low 6 - 8 hours.
- Remove cover and allow to cool a bit, until safe to handle. Using an immersion blender or working in batches with a blender, puree soup. Return soup to the Crock Pot and add the last can of beans and the rice. Cook on medium for another half hour.
- Taste and adjust seasonings if desired - add more salt and pepper if you like, a little more Tabasco if you want.
- Scoop into individual bowls and squeeze a lime wedge over the top of each. Add toppings if desired.
- Keeps refrigerated in an airtight container for three or four days. The soup can thicken over time, so thin with additional vegetable broth before serving leftovers, if desired.