Black bean soup is one of our favorites go-to soup in the fall and winter. It can be made in less than 30 minutes, it is colorful (black, green, red, and yellow) and it is filling and nutritious. What’s not to like? It can be mild or spicy depending on your preference! Serve it with rice and you have “Moros and Christianos” an ancient dish that dates back to the time when the Moors (i.e. black beans) occupied the South of Spain with the Christians (you get it, white rice!) Here is your dollop of history! Who said that food wasn’t educational?
A little background on black beans
They are a native of Southern Mexico and Central America and have been found in prehistoric sites dating back to 7,000 years ago! They remain today a staple in most Central & South American and the Caribbean region.
Health Benefits of Black Beans
Fiber (1 cup yields a whopping 26 grams!)
Being high in fiber, black beans make you feel full and satisfied and are a great way to lose weight.
Protein (1/2 cup yields 8 grams!) and folate.
They have a low glycemic index which means that they won’t cause sugar spikes and crashes.
They are loaded with phytochemicals that fight free radicals.
They contain sulfites (a compound found in wine, dried fruit) that help to detoxify the body.
Compared to other beans, they have some of the highest amounts of anti-oxidants making them a superfood in my book!
It is best to serve beans with white or brown rice to get a complete protein.
What is another name for black beans? (Answer at the end)
1. Nicaraguan beans
2. Turtle beans
3. Condor beans
4. Latin bean
Which US state is the largest producer of black beans?
(Answer at the end)
Tip for cleaning beans
Beans can have debris like clay, soil particles so you need to soak them in water for 5 minutes and remove what floats to the surface. You can also pick broken pieces.
Tip for preserving nutrients
It is best to soak black beans in cold water for 1-3 hours, then simmer for 1-2 hours. If you skip the cold water soak and go for a quick boiling for 3 minutes, you will damage the outer membrane and release the nutrients too quickly.
30-minute Hearty Black Bean Soup
- 2 cans black beans drained
- 2 Tbsp olive oil (one for stir-frying and one at the end)
- 1 large onion diced
- 2 medium carrots cubed
- 2 stalks celery diced
- 1 tbsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 2 large tomatoes (or 1 cup of tomato sauce)
- 1 cup corn (canned or frozen)
- 1 medium avocado sliced
- 1 cup fresh cilantro
- Stir-fry the diced onions in half of the olive oil until they become translucent.
- Add minced garlic, cumin powder, salt & pepper and mix.
- Add the diced carrots and celery and stir.
- Add the vegetable broth, the remaining oil and cook for 10 minutes until they are tender.
- Add the drained beans and corn, mix and cook for another 5 minutes on medium heat.
- Optional: you can take 1 cup and blend it to make a thicker soup.
- Taste and season as needed.
- Slice a ripe avocado and place a few slices in each bowl.
- Mince some fresh cilantro and sprinkle generously.
Or spice it up with some chili paste or cayenne pepper!
Trivia answer 1: Turtle beans
Trivia answer 2: Michigan