Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Black Bean Very Veggie Soup

Is it a soup or is it a stew? This dish is thick and hearty like a stew, but is completely vegan and takes only about 20 minutes to make. And did I mention it might be one of the best soups I've ever tasted? I know that's a big statement, but oh man, this is delicious and hearty. I was going to serve it with bread but I don't even think it needs anything else... (although, I do love soaking up yummy soup with a good bread). Filling, healthy, easy, and delicious. Exactly what I look for in a great dinner.

This was actually a very happy accident. I started out deciding I wanted to make the black bean soup from my new cookbook Vegan Yum Yum. But, I didn't have onion or celery. I was still determined to make the soup, though, so I figured since I was changing the original recipe by omitting some items, why not add others? Often, this leads to my husband making of fun of me that I can't follow a recipe... but this time, it led to total deliciousness.

Black Bean Very Veggie Soup
Makes 2-3 servings
Inspired by Vegan Yum Yum's Black Bean Soup

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 2-3 cups chopped collard greens (kale could also work here)
  • 3/4-1 cup thinly sliced carrots
  • 1 can black beans (not drained or rinsed)
  • 3 roma tomatoes, blended
  • 3/4 cup corn (fresh or from frozen, cooked)
  • 1/2 tsp thyme 
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce (low sodium)
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil (I used raw, cold-processed, extra-virgin; see notes below) 
(Note: I actually didn't measure the greens, carrots, and corn- I just went according to looks, so the soup was all filled up but still had some liquid volume. You can adjust the amounts for these as needed, but those listed above should be close).

  1. Place your tomatoes in a blender & blend. They don't need to be a perfect puree, so just about a minute should do it. (Note that I specify roma tomatoes but you could use another type).
  2. Heat the olive oil in a pot. Add the minced garlic and saute for about a minute or two.
  3. Add the carrots and saute for about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the thyme, cumin, pepper, tomatoes, tamari/soy sauce, and beans. Stir well. I also added just a tiny bit of water from rinsing the can of black beans- to get the extra from the can.
  5. Cover and cook for about 3 minutes. Then, add the collard greens, stir, and cover & cook for another 2 minutes or so. You want the greens to wilt and the flavors to mingle.
  6. Add in 1-2 Tbsp of coconut oil, mix, and serve.

    Secret ingredient here? Coconut oil! It's kind of like a thick paste. I've had this jar of coconut oil in my cupboard for a few months now, and haven't bothered to use it yet. I've been really curious and eager to use it, I just haven't had a recipe pop up that calls for it. In the original recipe this soup is adapted from, it's optional, so by golly, I used it ;-) And YUM. Obviously, it does add a little bit of coconutty flavor- but I recommend trying it out even if you're not a huge coconut fan. (You could omit it- I tasted the soup before adding it and it was still good-I love the thyme and hint of cumin mixed with all these veggies. But the coconut adds more depth and another layer of flavor that really brings the soup together). I'm reminded a little of an African stew a good friend of ours made for us.

    I really like adding the greens and corn and extra carrots to this soup. The original recipe was more of just a straight-up black bean soup, but my philosophy with veggies is - the more, the better. And all these additions mix in sooooo well here.

    This would go well with a sourdour bread. The soup is very filling though, so don't think of this is just some little appetizer! It's a full-on meal in a bowl!

    Reheat note: This dish keeps well for a day or two. I think the coconut flavor mellows over time, so give it a taste and add about a teaspoon prior to serving if needed. Note that coconut oil is fairly high in saturated fat, so use sparingly.

    Let me know if you love this as much as I do!

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