I know the above picture isn’t the best photo I’ve ever shared, nor does it necessarily look like the most delicious soup ever.  It’s black bean soup, and that stuff is hard to photograph, even with my food photo lights.  Especially when you throw a piece of bread into the mix, the camera can’t even deal with the light and dark.

So let’s talk about the soup.  It’s made with one of my favorites, black beans, AND it is made in the crock pot, not to mention it’s cheap and easy.  The cooking time can vary, as each crock pot is different, and this recipe uses dry beans instead of canned.  Which was a first for me, as you might remember that I am all over canned beans.

It’s also vegetarian, which is another big step for me.  The soup has quite a bit of a kick, because you throw in some canned chipotles, which are also new for me.  All in all it’s a good soup, and I highly recommend it.

Black Bean Soup

Source: smitten kitchen

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium-size red onions, chopped
1 medium-size red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium-size green bell pepper, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 teaspoons ground cumin
1 16-ounce package dried black beans
1 tablespoon chopped chipotle chiles from a can (I used closer to 2)
7 cups hot water
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and both bell peppers and sauté until beginning to brown, about eight minutes. Add garlic and cumin; stir one minute. Transfer mixture to 6-quart slow cooker. Add beans and chipotles, then 7 cups hot water. Cover and cook on high until beans are very tender, which could be 3-6 hours, depending on your crock pot.

Transfer two cups bean mixture to blender; puree until smooth. Return puree to remaining soup in slow cooker.  If you have an immersion blender, you can just stick it in the crock pot and puree some of the soup.  Stir in lime juice, salt, and pepper. Adjust seasonings to taste; we found we needed more salt. Ladle soup into bowls. Spoon dollop of toasted cumin seed cream (below) over each bowl and serve.

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