Healthy Recipe: Black Bean Soup

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This simple meal is vegetarian, filling and nutritious with a star ingredient: black beans!

Black beans are some of the most nutritious foods in the legume family. They are packed with protein & fiber (15 grams each in a cup!) which make you feel full and energized longer. They also are low on the glycemic index, helping to prevent diabetes and blood sugar spikes.

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Note: though this recipe demonstrates how to use dried black beans and the process of soaking them, you could easily use canned black beans as well. Simply mash the canned black beans with a fork and use them with their liquid.

black beans soaking

I like to use dried beans because 1) they’re dirt cheap at the supermarket and 2) I can choose different mixtures of beans/lentils/legumes to experiment with!

black beans

Start with about a cup and a half of dried black beans and add enough water to cover the top by about 3 inches. In my black bean soup, I sometimes add lentils as pictured. Let it soak for at least 6 hours to overnight.

After soaking, drain the beans in a colander and put aside. Chop some onion to taste. Saute the onions with some oil and salt in a soup pot until soft. Add soaked and drained beans with about 3 cups of water or vegetable broth. Season with a bay leaf, some cumin, and salt and pepper to taste. In a soup pot, bring the mixture to a boil and then immediately turn the heat down to a simmer. Let simmer for approximately 2 hours or until beans are tender.

If cooking in an Instant Pot (which is what I do to save time), go ahead and saute the onions in the bottom of the instant pot with the Saute option, then add the soaked and drained beans, broth, and seasoning, stirring to combine before capping it and selecting the Soup option.

Serve with plain greek yogurt (a healthy alternative to sour cream), cilantro, salsa, and chopped avocado. 

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