I used to spend hours in the kitchen testing recipes and generally using cooking as a type of meditation. Now I have a toddler. My newfound appreciation for simple and quick meals led me to this creation. As a bonus, it is also super inexpensive to make, especially if you cook beans from dry. This is the classic trade-off between money and time. You choose the method that works best for your needs. I have recently been using the method at the end of the post to cook beans from dry without soaking and it yields great results with limited fuss. To make this soup a meal, consider adding a whole grain item such as griddle warmed corn tortillas, brown rice, or quinoa. To vary the flavor, dress it up (you eat with your eyes as well as your mouth), and add other interesting elements, consider some of the optional toppings.
How to cook beans without soaking:
- Rinse 1 pound of dried beans.
- Add bean to a pot and cover with water to 2 inches above the level of the beans.
- Bring to a rolling boil for 5 minutes.
- Reduce heat to a gentle simmer, cover, and cook until done. For beans, this means tender without being mushy, and done enough that interior is not overly starchy tasting. Cooking time will depend on the type and age of dried beans. Recently dried, small beans can take as little as 30 minutes to cook and older or larger beans can take as long as 2 hours.
- Once tender, add 2 tsp salt to the pot (optional) and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and use as you wish.
Quickest, Easiest Black Bean Soup
- Yield: 6 bowls or 11 cups 1x
- 6 cups cooked black beans, drained (about 1 pound beans cooked from dry or 4 (15 oz) cans black beans)
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1 (15 oz) can fire roasted tomatoes with green chilies
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ancho or chipotle chili powder (or 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper)
Optional toppings/additions: sliced scallions, chopped cilantro, lime wedges, sliced avocado, chopped tomatoes, sliced or chopped jalapeños, queso fresco, yogurt or sour cream (plain), corn tortillas warmed on a griddle or cooked brown rice.
- Add 3 cups (or 2 cans) black beans, vegetable broth, tomatoes, cumin, salt, and chili powder to a blender and blend on high until smooth.
Pour blended mixture into a 3-quart or larger saucepan with the remaining 3 cups (or 2 cans) beans. Heat, adjust seasoning to taste.
Serve alone or with optional toppings/additions.
- Making this with beans cooked from dry costs much less than buying canned, but takes a bit more time and planning. It also cuts down on the amount of sodium in the final dish. If you are watching your sodium, consider cooking beans from dry.