This is a hearty meal that won't leave you hungry two hours afterwards. Full of rich, Mexican flavor, its also full of fiber, complex carbohydrates, and protein. These complex carbs are slow-digesting, (also referred to as having a low glycemic index) meaning you feel full longer. Low glycemic index foods help regulate blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity. Black beans are also naturally low in fat!
Black beans are packed with antioxidants and anthocyanins and are a fantastic source of calcium, magnesium, and zinc. They are an excellent immune strengthening food and contain anti-aging properties that help repair collagen fibers in the skin. Black beans are highly beneficial for Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, neurological issues, cancer, fibroids, thrombosis, constipation, autoimmune disorders, and heart disease.
Dried beans are preferred to canned, to reduce the amount of sodium, citric acid, and other chemicals that can be added to the industrial canning process. Although, as a busy mom you can't beat the convenience of canned beans. If you forget to soak your beans or just need a bit more convenience, switch the 1lb. of dried beans out for 4 cans of black beans, thoroughly drained and rinsed. Reduce the water to 3-4 cups, depending on how thick/thin you like it.
1 lb. of dried black beans, soaked at least 8 hours
1 tbsp. of Extra Virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, peeled & chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped (remove the pith and seeds for less heat)
4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 tbsp. of chili powder
2 tsp of ground cumin
1 tsp ground paprika
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp Mexican oregano, crushed with your fingers
8 cups of vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
1 tsp fine sea salt
Night Before: In a large bowl, cover dried beans with cool water by at least 2 inches to give the beans room to expand. Cover with a kitchen towel and leave in a cool spot on the counter.
Day Of: Drain and rinse the beans, picking out any rocks or bad beans.
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Once shimmering, add the onions and cook for 2 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, red bell pepper, and jalapeno and cook until the veggies soften, anywhere from 8-10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin, paprika, cayenne, and oregano and cook for another 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the vegetable stock and bay leaf. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer, partially covered for 1.5 - 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Once the beans are soft, remove the bay leaf, add the salt and stir. Grab an immersion blender or potato masher and get after it. I like a pretty smooth soup. If you feel the soup is too thick for your liking, add more stock or water to thin it out.
Serve piping hot with chopped cilantro, chopped raw onion, chopped tomatoes, lime wedge, vegan cheese or cream sauce, sliced avocado, more hot sauce, or chopped/pickled jalapenos.