Easy black bean soup — make it tonight

A pot of perfectly cooked black beans served as the base for this delicious soup.

Lacking a go-to black bean soup recipe, I turned to the internet and found a recipe for TGI Friday’s Black Bean Soup.  I’ve never had the soup at the restaurant (I think I’ve eaten there twice in my life), but this soup is quite tasty!

Here is the recipe with my modifications:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup diced white onion
  • 3/4 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup diced carrot
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper (any color would be fine — this is what we had in the freezer)
  • 1/2 bulb of garlic, shopped
  • 6 cups cooked black beans (equivalent to four (15 ounce) cans black beans)
  • 3 cups black bean cooking liquid (could also use veggie broth or water, but I like cooking with my bean juice when possible)
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 t. smoked salt*, plus more to taste
  • 1 t. smoked paprika*

*The original recipe calls for liquid smoke.  I had good intentions of purchasing some recently, but balked when I saw the ingredient list, which included unnecessary color additives.  I used smoked salt and smoked paprika to give the soup that same smokey flavor.

In a large pot, saute the veggies in the oil.  Puree half of the black beans (3 cups, or slightly more for a thicker soup) with the liquid (bean juice, broth or water).  Combine all ingredients in the pot with the sauteed veggies.  Simmer 30-60 minutes (depending on how thick you want it or how impatient you are to eat).

We garnished our soup with chopped green onions and frozen corn.  Shredded cheese or sour cream would also make good toppings.