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Crock Pot Black Bean Soup

Sunday, September 30, 2012

This soup is delicious and easy to make. Considering the dip in temperatures we've had for the last couple of days, soup weather is definitely upon us! Pair this with French bread (or considering I'm from the South, I'm also inclined to say cornbread), and you have yourself a hearty meal.

Crock Pot Black Bean Soup
Note: This recipe takes 6-7 hours cook time total, prep all other ingredients while the beans soak in step 1. Also, if you want to eat this for dinner, start this right after breakfast. (Keep in mind that if you've had a bag of beans sitting in your pantry for a while, they might take even longer to cook, so it's always best to leave yourself a little wiggle room with the timing of a dry bean recipe.)

1 lb dry black beans, separated and rinsed*
6 cups boiling water
1 carrot, minced**
1 stalk celery, minced***
1 large red onion, minced**
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 green peppers, minced**
2 jalapeno peppers, deseeded and minced**
1/4 cup lentils, separated and rinsed*
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
2 Tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup uncooked white rice
Sour cream
Shredded cheese

  1. In a large pot over high heat, place the black beans in three times their volume of water. Bring to a boil and let boil 10 minutes. Cover, remove from heat, and let stand 1 hour. Drain and rinse.
  2. In a crock pot, combine soaked black beans and 6 cups boiling water. Cook for 3 hours on high. Stir in carrots, celery, onion, garlic, bell pepper, jalapeno, lentils, and canned tomatoes. Season with chili powder, cumin, oregano, black pepper, red wine vinegar, and salt. Cook on high for 2 to 3 hours.
  3. Stir the rice into the crock pot in the last two hours of cooking. Taste to make sure vegetables and rice are cooked thoroughly and are seasoned to taste. Puree the soup as desired with an immersion blender or by transferring 1/2 of the soup to a blender or food processor and then pouring back into the pot before serving. 
  4. Serve with sour cream and shredded cheese.

Kitchen Tips:
*For those of you unfamiliar with cooking with dried beans, please do not dump the opened pack directly into the pot! Sort through the beans a handful at a time and remove any discolored or misshapen beans (or anything that looks suspiciously like rocks). Place them in a colander and rinse them before placing in a pot and cooking.

**When chopping this many vegetables for a recipe, a Cuisinart food processor is your best friend. Especially if you are going for a fine chop for a soup or a salsa. Since all of them will be mixed together, you don't even need to rinse the bowl or blades between mincing. Save time and save yourself from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome!

***I don't know about you, but I don't think you can purchase just one stalk of celery. But, there are countless recipes that call for just the one. My method is to just wash and chop the entire bunch at once. I find that if you put the rest of the bunch back in your fridge unchopped, you are likely to end up with wilted celery on your hands (even if you wrap it in foil) because there just aren't that many recipes that call for celery. If you chop it into snack-size sticks, however, you can foist it off on your kids or snack on it yourself!

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