I need a delicious, but comforting and healthful dinner. But, sometimes it can't require a lot of hands-on time. I literally rushed through this one, and it took less than 20 minutes of my time, granted there was some waiting. The results? Very worth it.
Are the amounts of ingredients set in stone? No. It's not a fussy recipe. This is not a pastry, or a cake. It's a soup. A little less carrot, or a little less celery isn't going to create a train wreck. Just trust me, and make a big ol' pot of soup. You'll have a fabulous dinner, and a good bunch of leftovers for some stellar lunches. Go for it!
Slow-Cooker Black Bean Soup
Dried black beans (enough to fill approximately 2 inches of your slow cooker)
2 medium onions
2 large carrots
2 sticks of celery
extra virgin olive oil
water, or chicken broth or both
1-2 tsp ground cumin
6 slices bacon
1/2 avocado per person
1 large bunch cilantro
yogurt, sour cream, or creme fraiche
1. Thoroughly rinse the black beans in a colander. Place in the slow cooker, and cover with 2 inches of water.
2. Rinse the carrots, celery, and onion in the colander. Roughly chop. Be quick, it doesn't matter, it's going to be mostly puréed later on.
3. Heat 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil in a non-stick skillet on medium-high heat. Add the vegetables, and keep the heat fairly high, just to give it some good golden colour. Nothing needs to be cooked evenly, it will all soften in the slow cooker. Just go quick, approximately 2-3 minutes.
4. Add the vegetables to the slow cooker, add a teaspoon of cumin, and a few teaspoons of kosher salt (I added 1 tablespoon, but this might be different depending on the size of your slow cooker).
5. Turn the slow cooker on the lowest setting, and leave for 4-5 hours. Once the beans and vegetables are tender, the soup is ready.
6. Slice and sauté the bacon until crispy.
7. Remove a few cups of beans from the slow cooker, and set aside. Using a hand-blender, quickly blend the soup, being careful not to overdo it, or there is a tendency for the beans to become like glue.
8. Add the beans that were set aside, back to the slow-cooker. Stir, and taste for seasoning. Add more cumin, or salt, as desired.
19. Chop the cilantro, and slice the avocado. Ladle the soup into serving bowls, and garnish with avocado, cilantro, yogurt, and bacon. Serve immediately.
10. Add the remaining bacon, and chopped cilantro to the leftovers for another dinner or several lunches.