Smokey Black Bean Soup

September 15, 2011

Smokey black bean soup with kale and sweet potato has bold flavors and is thoroughly satisfying.  The addition of cumin and chipotle chiles in adobo give the soup the smokey flavor.  This recipe uses dried beans that need to be soaked overnight but in a pinch canned beans will do just fine.  I love eating this comforting soup on a cool day with a warm flour tortilla for dipping.

Black Bean Soup with Kale and Sweet Potato


2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Onion – Chopped
2 tablespoons Ground Cumin
3 tablespoons Chipotles in Adobo
Sour Cream - Optional
Spread the dry beans out on a baking sheet and pick out any pebbles. Place the beans in a big soup pot, cover with water by 3 inches and allow them to soak overnight or for 6-8 hours, then discard that water. Return the soaked beans to the pot and cover with 3 inches of water again, add the kombu and bring to a boil. The kombu will help make the beans easier to digest. Reduce heat to medium low, put the cover on and allow to cook until the beans start to get tender but still firm, about 1 1/2 hours. Drain the beans, discard the kombu and set aside.
Heat the oil in a soup pot over med-high heat. Add the onion along with a pinch of salt and saute’ until softened and golden. Stir in 1 Tbsp of ground cumin, add the beans along and the broth or water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 30 min. Meanwhile peel and chop the sweet potatoes. Wash the kale, remove the stems and chop the leaves.
Remove half of the beans and liquid and set aside to cool a bit. Add the sweet potatoes and kale to the pot with some salt and pepper. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Transfer the cooled beans to a blender and puree until smooth, then return them to the pot. Stir in the remaining 1 Tbsp of ground cumin. Start by adding 1 Tbsp of the chipotles in adobo. Taste and continue to add more until it has a spice level that you like. Adjust the salt & pepper. Serve with a dollop of sour cream.

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