Nourishing Soups & Stews Carnival: Salsa Black Bean Soup

This week, Kimi at the Nourishing Gourmet is hosting a “Nourishing Soups & Stews Carnival,” and I am looking forward to gleaning some new soup recipes.  I love having a soup simmering on the stove, smelling the flavors melding and knowing that I have very little dinner prep to do, as mealtime draws closer.  

One of our family’s longtime favorite soup recipes is Salsa Black Bean Soup.  You can use an organic store-bought salsa, but we usually make our own.  (A chipotle salsa is especially delicious!)  It is deliciously warming on a cold day, and even surprisingly pleasant served lukewarm on a hot day! I’ve written this recipe using dried herbs, but when fresh herbs are in season, use them by all means! 

Salsa Black Bean Soup
Serves 4
4 cups cooked black beans, drained (About 1 lb. beans soaked overnight, then cooked.)
1 cup Chicken Stock (preferably homemade!) 
1 cup Salsa*
1 cup frozen corn (It will thaw in the soup.) 
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried mint
1 tsp. dried cilantro 
Sea Salt & Pepper, to taste
Toppings:
Yogurt or Cultured Cream
Thinly Sliced Green Onions
Grated Cheddar or Monterey Jack Cheese
Guacamole or Sliced Avocado (optional) 
Combine beans, broth, salsa, and spices in a blender, and blend until fairly smooth.  Pour into a medium saucepan, and add corn and herbs.  (If you have an extra cooked beans, you can add them at this time, too.) Heat over medium heat until lightly bubbling and heated through, stirring often to prevent sticking. Add additional chicken stock, if you prefer the soup to be a bit thinner.  (This will make a very thick soup.)  Ladle into bowls, and serve with a selection of toppings. 
*Chipotle Salsa
2 cups diced Tomatoes
1/4 cup diced Onion
2 cloves minced Garlic
2 tsp. minced Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce (or just add a couple spoonfuls of the sauce, if you prefer a milder flavor) 
1/4 cup chopped fresh Cilantro
1 tsp. Taco Seasoning (or to taste)
1 Tbl. dried Basil
1 Tbl. Lime Juice
Salt & Pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients.  Flavors will meld if left sitting for a few hours, but it can also be served immediately. 

Enjoy!
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