I am so lazy I almost never use dried beans. The reason is that I tend to use beans to make quick meals when I haven’t planned anything else. I throw them together with tins of tomatoes, spices and whatever vegetables I have left to make quick, easy and filling soups, and as black beans are not very common in the UK, they don’t very often tend to be the ones I use. However, for a long time I have been meaning to change that, intending to buy more dried beans and make a wider variety of bean dishes. So, I bought a bag of dried black beans and as this recipe has used just a fifth, there is no excuse now for me not to make at least four more black bean dishes at some point in the future.
This desire of mine to use black beans has been around for a while, but it may not have happened just yet, were it not for the Secret Recipe Club. This month I was paired with Kristi from Veggie Converter. Kristi is a vegetarian but her husband and children are not so she uses a lot of meat substitutes to try to convert traditional meat dishes into vegetarian dishes. As I am not a vegetarian, and would rather eat meat than a meat substitute, I focused on those recipes of hers which were not conversions, which was why I ended up searching through various bean recipes. I came across this post for vegan black bean soup and also this helpful post about soaking dried beans, and of course then I had no excuse not to use dried beans.
Making this soup is incredibly easy, it does just take a bit of advance planning if you are using dried beans. Everything can be thrown in the slow cooker in the morning and then in the evening you just need to blend it and add seasonings or accompaniments. I loved the flavours and textures and found it quite filling. I did make a few changes from the original. The additional vegetables are different, I didn’t have any salsa so added a chilli instead, and I also added lime juice. To see the original recipe, go to Kristi’s blog.
Ingredients – Serves 2
100g dried black beans
1 tomato, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 tbsp sweetcorn
1 chilli, sliced
1/2 tsp vegetable stock powder
Fresh coriander to serve (optional)
Lime juice (optional)
How to make Black Bean Soup
1. Soak the dried black beans overnight. If you use tinned you can skip this step.
2. Put the beans and chopped vegetables in the slow cooker. Sprinkle with the stock powder and cover with boiling water so the vegetables are just covered. Alternatively you can use real stock. Set to cook for 8 hours.
3. Blend the stock till it is relatively smooth but a few bits are ok. Season and add the fresh coriander and lime juice if using.
To see what other Secret Recipe Club members have made, click on the link below: