Today, I felt like eating black bean soup. Over the years, I've perfected my recipe for black bean soup. I started with a recipe from the Westin Hotel in San Franciso, who make very delicious black bean soup. Years and years ago, the San Jose Mercury News ran their recipe and I made it - and I absolutely loved it. Then I couldn't resist tinkering with it, making it vegan, making it non-vegan. Everyone who eats my black bean soup really likes it, and I hope you will too! Its got a bit of a spicy bite to it, but it is not super hot - if you like it really hot, then you'll have to add hot sauce to your bowl. This will be waiting for us after church today. The house smells so good already!
Black Bean Soup
1 lb dry black beans, rinsed and picked over
2 1/2 quarts water
1 large onion, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 - 3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp allspice
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 Tbs chili powder
1 1/2 tsp oregano
scant 1/2 tsp cayenne
1 tsp ground coriander
1 bay leaf
1/4 - 1 tsp Liquid Smoke to taste
Basically, all you do is put everything in a pot, bring to a boil, and simmer for 2 - 3 hours until the beans are tender. I've got mine simmering in the crock pot on high, and will probably let it cook for 3 - 4 hours. When beans are tender, taste for salt, and then remove 1 1/2 cups of beans, puree, and add them back into the soup to thicken it.
Serve with lots of garnishes: vegan sour cream, vegan shredded cheese, guacamole, minced onion, minced green pepper, olives, chopped cilantro, chopped avocado, corn relish, chopped tomato, hot sauce.
NOTES: This soup thickens up on the next day and makes a good filling for burritos together with rice.
Serves 4 to 6