Having fresh cilantro in the garden or in the fridge is wonderful for this soup! And the soup can be mild or spicy depending on what you want to put in it. I make it mild for the kids and then Paul & I add either jarred jalapenos, pico de gallo or hot sauce.
First of all, how to make the black beans... I soak and sprout my legumes, grains and seeds before using them. It helps with abdominal pain and we absorb the nutrients from the food better when it is soaked and sprouted. Add 2 cups (or 1 lb bag of black beans) to a 1/2 gallon jar and fill to the top with water. These sprouting lids can be purchased online or at your local health food store. And soak overnight or up to 24 hours.
After 24 hours drain off the water and rinse. The black beans can be used at this time or they can be sprouted for another 1-2 days. Make sure to rinse the beans 2x a day. They soak up a lot of water. From 2 cups of beans they become 5 1/2 - 6 cups of beans after soaking for 24 hours.
After they have been soaked they need to be cooked (cooking them before making the soup is ideal but if cooking in a slow cooker all of the ingredients can be placed in a slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours). I like to use a pressure cooker to cook my legumes because it is quicker and fairly easy.
Add 2 TBS onion powder, 1 tsp garlic powder, 2 TBS chik-like seasoning, 1 TBS cumin, and 5-6 cups of water to the pan and cook for 1-2 hours in a traditional pan on the stove or 6-8 hours on low in a slow cooker or for 15 minutes at pressure in a pressure cooker.
Make sure to add the 5-6 cups of water! Once the black beans are cooked (cook them ahead of time it is so much easier) prepare the vegetables.
For the Black Bean Soup I like to add several vegetables. 1 large onion, 2 peppers (color of your choice), 2-3 carrots, 1-3 cloves of garlic, 4 oz mushrooms (not pictured, gives it a meaty type texture very delicious). I like to use a vegetable chopper to make them as small as possible.
And then the kids can help me chop. Once the vegetables are prepared them can chop them up and of course they like helping.
Saute the vegetables in 1/2 cup of water. Oil is not necessary because of the water. Saute for 5-8 minutes or until the vegetables are to desired tenderness. (When the cooked black beans are added it only needs to heat up so make sure the vegetables are done.)
Then add 1 tsp salt 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional), 1/2 tsp basil, 2 TBS chik-like seasoning, 2 TBS cumin. Let it saute for 1-2 minutes longer.
Then add the cooked black beans and mash them a few times or use an immersion blender and add another 2-3 cups of water. And leave on stove for 15-20 minutes to warm up and let flavors mix.
Black Bean Soup
6 c black beans, cooked
1 large onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 red pepper, diced
4 oz mushrooms, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 carrots, diced or shredded
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
1/2 tsp basil
2 TBS cumin
2 TBS chik-like seasoning
3+ c water
1. Saute vegetables in ¼ c water on low setting until tender.
2. Add remaining ingredients and 3+ c water until desired consistency.
3. Use a masher or immersion blender and mash/blend a few times.
4. Simmer for 15 - 20 minutes.