It’s soup and sweater time! This soup, like one of my favorite sweaters, is warm, dark, and comforting —with a little sass. In this version, I added some coconut milk to make it even creamier and cozier. Rich in protein and fiber, it tastes like an indulgence, but it’s not. Bring on the cold. I’m ready.
The chipotle pepper really sets this recipe apart from other bean soups, providing a hint of heat and smokiness. The dried peppers can be found in the ethnic section of most larger grocery stores. You can create your own chipotle powder by simply grinding the dried peppers in a spice or coffee grinder. But, remove the seeds first if you want more smokiness than heat.
Need to feed meat eaters? No problem. You can easily adapt this recipe for an omnivore table by adding in some spicy sausage or ground meat, browning them in the pan before adding the vegetables. Or, you could add cooked meat as a garnish on selected portions at the end.
BLACK BEAN CHIPOTLE BISQUE
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 cups dried black beans (or 5 cups cooked)
- 1 piece kombu (optional)
- 1 onion, medium diced (about 1/2 inch pieces)
- 2 large carrot, medium diced
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, divided
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon chipotle powder (or 2 dried chipotle chiles, stems removed).
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 bay leaf
- 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 3-4 tablespoons fresh lime juice (or to taste)
- 2-4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (or to taste)
- sea salt to taste
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced (for garnish)
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped (for garnish)
ADVANCED BEAN PREPARATION:
Place beans into a large soup pot, removing any broken or shriveled beans. Add a strip of dried kombu kelp, if desired, to improve bean digestion. Kombu can be found in the Asian foods section of most larger grocery stores. Cover with at least double the quantity of water and let soak overnight, or at least 8 hours. After soaking, strain, rinse and drain the beans. If desired, reserve the kombu strip for use when cooking the soup.
- In a large soup pot, melt the coconut oil over medium-high heat.
- Saute the onions and carrots until the onions are translucent and begin to sweat, about 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the garlic, stirring frequently, until fragrant.
- Add in the dried spices (chipotle peppers, coriander, cumin, bay leaf) and stir to distribute.
- Add the beans, the kombu strip (if using) and 1/4 teaspoon of the sea salt. Cook everything for a few more minutes, stirring often.
- Add the broth.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer covered for about 30 minutes, stirring about every 10 minutes.
- At 30 minutes check the beans for doneness. If needed, continue to cook until very soft and tender.
- When the beans are tender, remove the pot from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
- Blend the mixture in either a standard jar blender or an immersion blender. If using a standard jar blender, you will likely need to process in two batches, then return the soup to the cooking pot for seasoning.
- Add the coconut milk and stir to incorporate.
- Season with the lime juice, apple cider vinegar and remaining 3/4 teaspoons of salt, adding more of each to taste as needed.
- Garnish with the chopped scallions and cilantro.