Black Bean Soup

This just may have been the easiest dinner I've made in a long time. Since it's the week before Thanksgiving and I know a calorie fest is on the horizon, I've been trying to make super-healthy lunches and dinners so I don't feel too guilty indulging in appetizers, turkey, stuffing, desserts, what have you. According to Will, my father in-law is the expert on black beans and rice, and while I would have loved to have tried his recipe, he a) had a busy work week and I didn't want to trouble him to search through the recipe collection, and b) I know his recipe includes ham hocks, and I can't find them ANYWHERE. Seriously, does anyone in the Boston area know where I can find a stupid ham hock? It's not sold at our grocery store and I'm beyond frustrated! Anyway, while I don't think this recipe would have met the standards of Will's Louisiana relatives, I found it very satisfying for a quick and healthy weeknight dish. The only complaint I have is that even though I cooked this soup for 10 hours in my slow cooker, I still felt like the beans weren't "done" enough. (I've had this same problem with red beans and rice, and my mother in-law suggested boiling the beans-uncovered-on the stovetop. Note to self for next time).
Source: Cooking Light, March 2009


  • 1  pound  dried black beans
  • 4  cups  fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 2  cups  chopped onion
  • 1  cup  water
  • 1  tablespoon  ground cumin
  • 3  bay leaves
  • 1  serrano chile, finely chopped
  • 2  tablespoons  fresh lime juice
  • 1  teaspoon  kosher salt
  • 1/4  cup  chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3  tablespoons  reduced-fat sour cream
  • Cilantro sprigs (optional)

1. Sort and wash beans; place in a large bowl. Cover with water to 2 inches above beans; cover and let stand 8 hours. Drain.
2. Combine beans, broth, and next 5 ingredients (through chile) in an electric slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW 10 hours.
3. Discard bay leaves. Stir in juice and salt.
4. Ladle 1 1/2 cups soup into each of 6 bowls; sprinkle each with 2 teaspoons chopped cilantro. Top each serving with 1 1/2 teaspoons sour cream. Garnish with cilantro sprigs, if desired.


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