Normally I am not a box-of-this, can-of-that type of cook, but sometimes you hit upon a shortcut that is truly tasty and healthy. And this black bean soup is one of those shortcuts for when we want soup, but haven’t soaked any beans. I hope you enjoy this as much and Rick and I have.
1 box Fantastic Foods “Instant Black Bean” mix
[This is essentially re-fried beans that have been dehydrated. It comes with some spices already mixed in, so you can use it for dip, as a veggie filling for tostadas, etc. I found it in my local health-food oriented grocery store but some major chains are starting to carry the Fantastic Foods line now.]
1 medium onion, diced
1 large carrot, diced
4-5 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped
3 scallions, thinly sliced (white parts and about 5 inches of green parts)
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes (fire-roasted preferred)
1 Tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 bay leaves
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
4-6 cups hot water
Your favorite hot sauce
In a soup pot, saute the onions, garlic and carrot in the oil until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, scallions, chili powder and ground cumin, and cook for another minute. Next, pour in 4 cups of hot water, toss in the bay leaves, and sprinkle in the box of bean mix. Stir thoroughly so that the beans get completely re-hydrated in the water (no clumps).
It will take about 8 minutes for the beans to soak up the water and start to thicken the soup. If it starts getting too thick, add a little more water. Taste the soup and add some salt if you wish. Continue cooking for at least 15 minutes over low heat, to give the flavors a chance to combine.
Serve with any of the optional toppings and fresh cornbread.