Of the eight or nine vegetarian cookbooks on my shelf, each probably has at least one black bean soup recipe. And yet, I still decided to go it alone on this one. I just have not been satisfied and while walking through the aisles of Safeway (yes, Safeway, I shop there and it’s not always organic), I just started throwing things in my cart that I thought would be good for soup:
- roasted red peppers
- sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil
- 4 cans of black beans
- vegetable stock
My thought was that all of these had such delicious flavors, they could mold into something tasty without a lot of extra effort. This is beginning to sound like an intro of “the 5 ingredient cookbook” or even a plug for “Semi-Homemade” but sometimes shortcuts are there for a reason and sometimes you can go overboard overseasoning.
My first thought was to retain all the savory and flavorful oil from the sun-dried tomatoes. I drained off the liquid and used that to sautee my onions.
It’s still just olive oil after all, and if I needed more to prevent sticking I had plenty of the regular stuff on hand. I chopped up the tomatoes as well as the roasted red peppers (I drained those off first – disposing of the reddish, less flavorful water). I let all of that cook for about 5 to 8 minutes, adding some minced garlic too. I love garlic so I’d estimate it was nearly 6 large cloves. After draining the cans of beans, those also went in along with the vegetable stock (approximately 4 cups).
I brought it all to a boil and then reduced the heat to a simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes. That seems to be what most recipes call for, so I thought I’d try that. Everything is essentially cooked so it’s a matter of letting the flavors get to know each other. Because I like the creaminess of soups, I decided to blend up about half into a liquid. This was also a good way to blend the flavors together even more.
There were still a few good bits of tomatoes and black beans, surrounded by the creaminess – just the way I like it. Sadly, there was little on hand for the “food styling” portion, but you get the idea.