Spring in Georgia is usually a much warmer, wetter season so I don’t often get the urge to spruce up some soup. Thankfully, kind of, a sudden cold front brought temperatures down back to what they should have been in January and soup was the only thing I was craving.
With a trip coming up in a few days I didn’t want to buy anything that would be sitting in my fridge for days so I decided to make something warm and good enough to make me eat an entire pot within a day. Enter, the beans. I love beans, they’re a daily staple in Brazil, a fantastic source of protein and so easy to add to dishes. This soup uses three different kinds, black, red, and butter, to mix the flavors up.
Some chopped tomatoes add freshness and color to the dish, and really come out when you finish everything off with chopped cilantro, onions, and a squeeze of lemon juice. It’s perfect for a chilly overcast day but refreshing rather than typical dense winter soups.
The ingredients are kitchen staples and the soup was done, from prepping to table, in half an hour so I’m looking forward to trying it again during a busier week!
Note: The finishing garnishes should be added to taste, so if you’re not a lover of cilantro feel free to substitute for green onions.
1 tbs vegetable oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped (around 2/3 cup)
3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 can black beans
1 can red beans
1 can butter beans
2 tomatoes, chopped (around 1 cup)
2 cups fresh greens (I used baby spinach and arugula)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp ancho chile (or cayenne)
2 1/2 – 3 cups broth (I used chicken but vegetable broth can be substituted to make this a vegan option)
1 bay leaf
salt to taste
cilantro, red onion, and lemon wedges for garnish
- In a 2 quart saucepan, add vegetable oil, chopped garlic and chopped yellow onions. Saute until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Be careful not to burn the garlic.
- Open the cans of beans and drain off the liquid. Wash under running water to get rid of the preserving liquid (which I think makes it taste like a can).
- Add the beans to the onions and garlic and cover with the broth.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and if necessary, add more broth. The broth should just cover the ingredients.
- Add the cumin, black pepper, chile, bay leaf, and salt. I started with two teaspoons of salt but add more to taste.
- Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once it’s boiling, lower the heat to medium and let simmer, partially covered, for 15 minutes. As the soup cooks, check for taste a few times and add more seasoning if you need.
- Add the fresh greens after 10 minutes to wilt on top of the soup.
- To garnish, chop half of a red onion, half a cup of cilantro, and a few lemon wedges.
- Remove the bay leaf and serve the soup, squeezing the lemon on top of the other garnish ingredients.