Here's the Dish

healthy ANDI licious

The Best Black Bean Soup January 10, 2012

Simple ingredients. Simply delicious.

The Best Black Bean Soup
with zesty salsa & avocado

They say black is slimming. When it comes to black beans these high-fiber, high-protein, low-calorie legumes can certainly do a body good. It won’t matter however, when you taste your first spoonful of this simple, natural combination of flavors you won’t need any further convincing.

Ingredients
Makes 8 Servings

-1/2 lb dried black beans
-4-5 green tea bags
-1 cup of your favorite salsa
-1 bunch fresh cilantro
-1 large yellow onion, chopped
-2 tbsp olive oil
-1/2 ripe avocado
– 2 tsp cumin powder
-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
-juice of 1 lime
-1/4 cup oat bran (optional)
Topping
daiya deliciously dairy free mozzarella style shreds
-Baked blue corn chips
-1/2 ripe avocado (divide into slices)

Methods
1. Overnight: Rinse dried beans and soak overnight (or for at least 4 hours) in large saucepan.

The next day...After soak, drain most of the excess water. You will lose some water-soluble nutrients in the water but you will also lose some of the raffinose (type of sugar found in beans) that causes the discomfort known to give beans their nickname as “the musical fruit.” The majority of the nutrient quality will remain and your guests will thank you for this measure.

2. In a separate pot, bring 3 cups water to a boil. Once the boil is reached, turn off the burner and add 4-5 green tea bags. Cover pot with lid and allow to steep until very strong (for at least 15 minutes- but leaving the brew longer is even better).

3. In a large pot, combine brewed green tea (remove tea bags) and beans and add water until beans are totally covered. Bring beans to a boil and reduce to a simmer, cooking for approximately 1 hour until beans are soft.

4. Chop onion and add to large saucepan with 2 tbsp olive oil on medium high heat. Stir frequently until onions brown to a caramelized state (but do not become black and burnt).

5. When beans are soft, reduce heat to low and stir in cilantro leaves from one bunch, caramelized onions, 1 cup salsa, cumin, cayenne pepper, oat bran (optional), lime juice and 1/2 ripe avocado. Using an immersion (hand) blender, blend ingredients until smooth.

Serve hot. Delicious topped with baked corn chips, daiya dairy-free “cheese” shreds, and a few small avocado slices. Keeps well in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for months. Freezer tip: If freezing, use containers that will hold only a few portions each for easy future dining.

Nutrition Highlights: This 100% vegan dish is packed with nutrients and extremely filling despite its low-fat, low-calorie profile. Black beans are an excellent source of several vitamins and minerals including folate, iron, and magnesium. The green tea is high in antioxidants which help protect cells against damage (including both heart damage and wrinkles). This soup is an ideal dish for helping to lower cholesterol; The beans and oat bran are very high in soluble fiber- the type of fiber that can bind to cholesterol carrying molecules in the blood and help remove these molecules. The avocado, which adds a delicious creaminess to the soup body, is high in monounsaturated fat- the “heart-healthy” type of fat that helps to raise HDL levels and lower LDL levels.

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