Have you ever had a meal that you could still taste years later? Maybe not physically taste, but at least recall the surprise at that first bite...the texture as it entered your mouth, the unexpected spice that lingered after you swallowed. I consider these rare moments of eating, the best kind of souvenir. They don't take up space in my carry-on, but still I can bring them home and try to recreate that moment of joy in my own kitchen.
Belize Before Kids
There was this one trip to Belize, before kids. Dean and I were exploring the sleepy island of Ambergris Caye. After a long stroll along the beach, and then watching kids play kickball in the sandy town square, we sauntered into a cafe for a bite to eat. Their special for the day - black bean soup.
Bowl of Belizean Goodness
I've made a lot of black bean soup in an attempt to recreate my bowl of Belize goodness. I knew that it had to have a rich, creamy texture, but still be dotted with black beans. It took me a while to dial in the seasoning and streamline the preparation, but here it is - the Best Black Bean Soup recipe. Topped with firm chunks of tomato, crunchy green onions and a sprinkling of shredded cheese, you can have a meal in 30 minutes.
To make this Best Black Bean Soup all you need is a few cans of black beans and chicken broth from your pantry. A blender (sometimes I use my immersion blender) is helpful, but not required. Give this recipe a try and see if you feel like you are being transported to an exotic beach in Belize with every bite. I love your ratings and comments - Enjoy!
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon dried whole oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 2 15-ounce cans black beans rinsed and drained, about 3 cups
- 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 medium tomato chopped
- 2 green onions sliced, include greens
- ½ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (optional)
In a large saucepan heat oil over medium heat. Add chopped onion and sauté until tender (about 5 minutes.) Stir in garlic, oregano, thyme, cumin and red pepper; cook one minute longer.
Place half of beans and one cup of chicken broth in a blender and puree until smooth.
Add pureed beans to the onion mixture, and stir in the remaining whole beans and broth. Bring to a boil over medium heat then simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.
Top with diced tomatoes, green onion and cheese, if you choose.
I published a version of this recipe in Simply Colorado, a cookbook for the Colorado Dietetic Association.