What in the fresh hell is happening? A recipe for black bean soup here on zenbelly? Made with actual BEANS?! Have I been abducted by aliens and replaced with a vegan version of myself. (Spoiler: nope)
I’ll tell you what: I’ve been craving beans lately. This is highly unusual because I have never in my entire life enjoyed eating beans. When I discovered the paleo way of eating 10 or so years ago, they were the absolute easiest thing to give up.
Even in my bean-hating days, black bean soup was something I’ve always enjoyed.
Of course I haven’t been 100% bean-free for the past decade; I’ve eaten some hummus and refrieds covered with melted cheese the handful of times I’ve had a hankering for cantina Mexican. But for the most part, I’ve avoided them, for two reasons.
- I have never liked them
- They make me gassy
For the past few years, I’ve been moving away from the labels that tell me what to eat and what not to eat. Paleo was a great template, and worked as an effective elimination diet. Now, I’m more into intuitive eating, and not stressing out about what I consume.
Chris Kresser posted something a while back that really resonated with me:
It’s better to eat the wrong food with the right attitude, than the right food with the wrong attitude.
It goes without saying that this concept doesn’t apply to actual food allergies or sensitivities. But I am 100% done putting foods into “good” and “bad” categories. It’s elitist and it’s classist, and lots of foods that paleo puts into the bad category are foods that keep entire civilizations alive.
Seemingly out of nowhere, after disliking beans my entire life – including my 6 years of vegetarianism, so believe me, I tried – I started craving them. I tend to crave foods like a pregnant woman, so sometimes I just ignore those cravings, and they disappear. But this time, it was persistent.
And then I kept seeing Juli of Paleomg post about the Bean Protocol and how it was helping her skin. So I looked more into it, and it seems like I’m craving them for a few good reasons.
Beans can be beneficial for lots of ailments, but the one that jumped right out at me: they can help with hormonal issues.
Since I am starting to have little glimpses of the beginnings of peri-menopause, I figure why not add beans back into my life. Because it’s 2020 and I literally cannot put myself on any kind of strict protocol right now, I am not so worried about eliminating the things I would eliminate if I were following the bean protocol: caffeine, sugar, and alcohol. I know that none of those things are great for me, but I know myself. I know how eliminating foods and focusing on my diet on that level adds stress to my life. Definitely not right before an election, nope. Gonna prioritize mental health for now!
But in the interest of listening to my body, I’ll start eating some beans. So far, I have been loving the bowls of beans and rice I’ve eaten. And this black bean soup was delicious and simple to make. As someone with expensive taste in food, I will not argue with my body if it’s craving inexpensive protein for once!
How about you? Going to give this black bean soup a try, or are you a hard no on beans?Print
smoky black bean soup
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Total Time: 60 minutes
- Yield: 4-6 servings
- Category: soup
simple, smoky, hearty black bean soup is a great budget-friendly cozy meal.
- 2 14-ounce cans black beans drained and rinsed (or about 3 cups cooked beans)
- 2 roasted bell peppers
- 1 14-ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 1 medium red or yellow onion, cut into small dice
- 2 carrots, cut into small dice
- 1 large jalapeño, seeds and membrane removed, cut into small dice
- 4–5 cloves garlic, cut into small dice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle
- 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- fresh cilantro
- sliced avocado
- pickled red onions (or raw if you’re into that type of thing)
- sour cream or plain yogurt
- lime wedges
- In a blender, puree half the beans (about 1 1/2 cups), the roasted peppers, and the diced tomatoes.
- In a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Once shimmering, add the onions and carrots. Sauté for 5-6 minutes, until softened.
- Add the jalapeño, garlic, and salt, and sauté for another 2-3 minutes, or until very fragrant. Stir in the smoked paprika, cumin, and chipotle powder.
- Add the pureed bean mixture, the remaining beans, and the stock. Bring to a boil and then adjust the heat so it’s at a strong simmer.
- Simmer for 30 minutes, uncovered, to allow the flavors to meld and the soup to thicken.
- Stir in the lime juice and season to taste; it could need a bit more salt depending on the stock and beans you used. If you like it spicy, add more chipotle.
- Serve with cilantro, avocado, picked onions, sour cream, and lime wedges
Keywords: black bean soup
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This recipe looks incredibly delicious. While my diet is based is paleo (high-veg, nutrient-dense) values, I eat a much wider variety of whole and nutritious foods than strictly paleo, including occasional beans. I love black beans and this soup looks like a great way to take a quick break from an animal protein dinner, or at least reducing it. Can’t wait to try this as we head into fall!
Thanks, Susan! I hope you love it.
This soup was AMAZING! The roasted peppers were a nice touch, so easy to roast on the stovetop burners like my Italian grandma used to do…fills the house with an amazing smell.
Thanks Simone for another delicious recipe!
Thanks, Phyllis! I’m so glad you loved it. I sometimes buy the jarred roasted peppers, but I love the smell of roasting them on the flame!
I’m in the same boat! After never really liking beans and going years without eating them at all, I had a sudden recent craving for them. This soup was simply wonderful, esp on this particularly frigid night. Though my partner and I usually eat two bowls apiece when we have soup, this was so filling that we were satisfied with one apiece, meaning there’s an entire meal’s worth of leftovers. Thank you so much!
so glad you both loved it! It’s funny how our bodies sometimes tells us what it wants 🙂