Friend of mine was telling me a story about her hubby's misadventures with some black bean soup the other day. A few days later it was raining, and I didn't feel like cooking, so I decided to make some of my own. This is the recipe I started with, then tweaked it based on personal taste and what I keep in my pantry. You know, I honestly don't know why I bother buying cookbooks, since the food we eat never resembles the original recipe! Inspiration, I suppose...
I often will cook a bag of dried beans, then freeze it in two-cup portions with some of the cooking water ladled over the top to prevent freezer burn. Super easy, and super cheap. This recipe is based on that. You could use canned beans just as easily, as called for in the original recipe.
4 cups cooked black beans, with cooking water
1 can of petite diced tomatoes
1/2 t. Italian seasoning
1 t. ground black pepper
2 t. salt, more to taste if needed
2 cups chicken broth
2 T. taco sauce (as suggested in the original recipe, I used two packets of mild Taco Bell sauce. Probably wasn't quite two tablespoons, I could have used one or two more.)
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 broccoli stalk, peeled and chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
Put all ingredients into a 4- or 5-quart crock pot. Cook on low 8 - 10 hours. Before serving, ladle half of the soup out into a blender. Put the lid on, COVER WITH A TOWEL (this is very important to keep you from getting burned), and blend until smooth. Pour back into the crock pot and stir.
Serve with cornbread on the side.
Makes 4 servings (three if you're feeding this to a bean-loving toddler like mine!).