There is a restaurant/bakery down here (Panera) that makes the best black bean soup, and I finally have perfected this recipe to taste just as good, or better than theirs.
2 onions, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 celery ribs, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
4 small chicken bullion cubes, or vegetable stock (to make it vegetarian)
3 cups boiling water
4 (15 oz) cans black bean, undrained
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
juice of 1 lemon
3 TBS cornstarch *(I've made the soup numerous times without the cornstarch and I like the consistency just fine)
2 bay leaves
In a pot, combine the first 6 ingredients, simmer for 10 min.
Add 2 cans of beans, salt, cumin, cook for 5 min.
Puree soup, use either an immersion blender, or pour small amounts into blender and liquify and transfer into a new pot.
Add the rest of the beans to the soup and the bay leaves.
*Combine the cornstarch with 3 TBS water. Add the lemon and the cornstarch to the soup, cook until thickened.
One of the extra things I like to do with this soup is add a cup or two of ham. I usually dig it out of the freezer (Thanksgiving or Christmas leftovers) and chop it up and add it before I puree the soup. This adds a smokier flavor and even more protein; you can easily leave it out.
Makes 8-12 servings.
If you want to make it vegetarian substitute vegetable stock for the chicken bullion.
This soup freezes great and tastes even better than next day.
I used bottled lemon juice, lemons were so expensive today
No need to finely chop the veggies, you are going to puree them later
Before the immersion blender
During the puree
Can you see the steam?