The first time I made this sensational soup, college girls from our church came over for a Christmas Exam Break. We always wanted our home to be a “home away from home” for students, singles, and young-marrieds who needed a bit of family. So, with exams looming, we gave these girlies a Finley Family Fun Night complete with sugar-cookie decorating and the Grinch.
Tomorrow we’re home-churching with some dear families, several who kept the “six” when we went after the “one” last October/November. I’m making this soup to add to the bounty for an afternoon meal. As one of the kids said, “With bacon and black beans, Mr. Williamson will love it.”
So, whether you have hungry college students coming over or Mr. Williamson to feed, pull out a smaller vat than you needed for Sam’s Vegetable Soup, and make a batch of the BEST Black Bean Soup.
10 slices of bacon, finely chopped (You can use turkey bacon, free-range bacon, whatever kind of bacon you like EXCEPT pre-cooked bacon)
2 medium onions, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves (To keep it simple, I use Spice World’s Minced Chopped Garlic with 1 t. = 1 garlic clove)
1 (14 1/2 oz.) can chicken broth, or your equivalent of homemade chicken broth or chicken broth from a cube
2 (14 1/2 0z) cups petit diced chopped tomatoes. You can chop your own tomatoes, if you like
2 T. ketchup
2 t. Worcestershire Sauce
1 T. chili powder
4 (15 1/2 oz) cans of black beans, drained but not rinsed. OR, if your clan is not thrilled with black beans, make it a combo of black beans and corn
Salt and Pepper
1 bunch of fresh cilantro
Garnish – scallions, sour cream, sharp cheddar
- Chop and cook the bacon. While the bacon is cooking, chop your onions and add them to the pot. Once the onions are translucent, add the garlic and cook for one minute. You don’t want to overcook your garlic.
- You can choose to drain the onion/bacon mixture, or if you’re not so inclined, just add in your chicken broth followed by tomatoes, ketchup, Worcestershire, and chili powder.
- Gently stir in the black beans or combination of black beans and corn
- Bring to a boil and the lower heat to a simmer for ten minutes.
- During this ten minutes, chop the cilantro and squeeze 1/2 of the lime
- After ten minutes, season the soup with salt and pepper, stir the cilantro into the soup and cook for ~ five minutes or until thickened.
- Stir in the lime juice.
- By this time college students and neighborhood children have gathered on your doorstep. Let them into your house and get them busy grating cheese, chopping scallions, and putting sour cream in a serving bowl since you do not want to serve sour cream out of the container.
- Serve it up, letting each one garnish to his or her heart’s content!
Now, I will tell you, the BEST Black Bean Soup is fabulous with cornbread. Tomorrow I’ll give you my favorite EASY cornbread recipe that came from one of my very first C-ville friends.