Jun 10, 2012

Roasted Tomato Black Bean Soup

Today is definitely what I would like to call “lazy sunday”! It’s an eat breakfast in your pjs, wear a junky sweater/hoodie and curl up in an arm chair reading a good book kind of day! It’s also been gloomy and rainy, which pretty much seals the deal for staying indoors, being comfy; no bright sunshine making you feel guilty for wasting such a beautiful day inside. It’s on these kind of days that I still want that comfort meal for dinner but don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen to get it. What better to cook than a soup! You throw everything in one pot, simmer for a little bit and blend! Perfect!

This particular tomato black bean soup is also great because while it is satisfying on a damp, gloomy day, it’s also a great soup recipe to have on hand for the summer days. It’s light and refreshing and I paired it with a mango, avocado salad that I promise took less than five minutes to put together! The soup has a little kick to it, so the mango and avocado on the side act as the cooling elements to this dish. You can’t go wrong with this meal!

Here’s what you’ll need for both the soup and the salad:


(Adapted from Ellie Krieger. Makes 2 dinner servings.)

For the Soup

  • 1-1 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved (or 4 medium tomatoes quartered)
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups black beans, cooked *
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • parsley (for garnish)

For the Salad

  • Bibb Lettuce (or any salad mixture)
  • 1 small avocado
  • 1 small mango
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Pinch of black pepper

*Note About the Beans: I like to use dry beans and cook them myself whenever I get the chance. For this recipe, you can soak your beans overnight and then cook them in water on medium-high heat for about 25 minutes. Alternatively, you can also just as easily use 1 16oz can of black beans and the soup will work just as well!

It’s best to start with the soup and then once you have everything simmering you can work on putting the salad together. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with tinfoil, spray the tinfoil with some cooking spray and then spread out the chopped tomatoes, onion, and garlic cloves. Drizzle the olive oil over the vegetables and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Give everything a good toss and make sure every piece is coated. You can easily mix the vegetables with the oil, salt and pepper, in a mixing bowl and then pour them onto the baking sheet but I like to conserve on dirty dishes in any way that I can!

Let the tomatoes and onion roast for about 25 minutes. This may take a little longer in different ovens or if you are making a larger batch of the soup. You want everything to cook until the garlic cloves are soft and the edges of your onion start turning a little brown. Once complete, add the whole mixture, juices and all, to a large saucepan. Add in the broth, beans, cumin, chili powder and a little more salt and pepper. Bring this whole mixture to a boil and then immediately lower the temperature to a simmer.

Let the soup simmer for about 10 minutes. It’s during this time that you can get your bread in the toaster oven, if you desire, and then you can also work on your salad. Open your avocado and slice it into 1/4 inch thick pieces and do the same with your mango. This opening, peeling, coring process will probably take you the most time. Arrange the lettuce on each plate and on top, place a couple slices each of the mango and avocado. Take a quarter wedge of lime and squeeze each on top of each salad plate and follow that with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. I know it seems slim, but I promise that’s all this salad needs!

Now time to finish up the soup. Remove the pot from the heat and using an immersion blender (or a regular blender), blend the soup until smooth. I love my immersion blender and so I usually stick to that but if you are using a regular blender, be sure to work in small batches. It’s also important with the soup to make sure everything is really smooth. My biggest fear was skipping over one of the garlic cloves and someone taking a big spoonful of soup, which really ended up being a big spoonful of garlic clove! Surprise!

With the soup blended and the salad together, you are ready to serve! I just added a little parsley to the top of each bowl, but cilantro would also work great. Jor is anti-cilantro so we turn to it’s trusty cousin, parsley, whenever it’s called for! You could also add a little dollop of sour cream if you wanted and if you’re in the mood for a little extra spice, a few shakes of hot pepper sauce should do the trick.

I actually had a little leftover soup from dinner so I was lucky enough to enjoy it again for lunch the following day! Just as delicious! Roasting the tomatoes, onion and garlic are really the trick with this soup I think. All the flavors come out during the roasting time in the oven and by using the juices that escape in the soup, it just adds another layer to the soup that you can’t get if you just threw it all raw into the saucepan and then started cooking. It makes it easier on you in terms of babysitting the food while cooking but it also amplifies your flavors. I think that is what we call a win-win for the cook! Enjoy this soup on a busy summer night or a gloomy sunday evening and it’s sure to make a wonderful ending to any day! For now that’s tomato black bean soup…in the shell of a nut!

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