These long, cold winter days can really dampen a person’s spirit, can’t they? It’s much nicer to sail out the door in short sleeves without a thought to how cold it is and bundling up against the elements. For now, we can’t go out to the garden to pick a few tomatoes for lunch or dinner. We can’t head over to the local market stand for freshly harvested corn. We can dream about it, though. We can hope.
On the bright side, our pantries may just contain the essential ingredients for a cozy soup. The warm season is for harvesting and consuming, but it is also for preserving. In winter months, we don’t have to do without.
I always have beans in my pantry, and black beans are popular with my family. Vegetable stock is usually on hand too, although if it’s not, I have ingredients to make my own. And sure as the day dawns every morning, I always have a jar of leftover salsa with no plans to use it. If you have no such salsa jar at your house, your local market surely will and in great variety.
This easy, four-ingredient recipe for black bean soup is made using these pantry and market staples. The black beans are neutral enough to showcase any flavor or spice level of salsa. No added salt to the recipe is necessary as there is enough salt embedded in the canned beans, stock and salsa, depending which brands you have on hand.
The last three ingredients are optional toppings. I’m vegan, so I use vegan sour cream. Of course you may use regular sour cream instead.
- 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 ½ cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup chunky salsa
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 4 tablespoons vegan sour cream for serving (optional)
- 2 tablespoons thinly slice scallions for serving (optional)
- Chopped fresh tomatoes or cherry tomatoes for serving (optional)
- In a food processor or blender, combine beans, broth, salsa and cumin.
- Heat the blended mixture in a saucepan over medium heat until thoroughly heated.
- Ladle soup into 4 bowls or mugs and top each with 1 tablespoon sour cream, ½ tablespoon scallion and tomatoes to taste.