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Mastering Vegan Black Bean Soup: Ingredients, Procedure and Historical Roots

Vegan Black Bean Soup

Black beans have been a staple in Latin American and Caribbean cuisines for centuries, with their origins tracing back to indigenous cultures in the Americas. Black Bean Soup, traditionally made with meat-based broths and seasonings, has been a cherished dish in these regions for generations.

The adaptation of Black Bean Soup into a vegan-friendly recipe reflects the growing popularity of plant-based diets and the desire for healthier, more sustainable meal options. By omitting animal products and incorporating plant-based ingredients, such as vegetable broth and an array of vegetables and spices, Vegan Black Bean Soup offers a nutritious and flavorful alternative while staying true to the essence of the original dish.

Today, Vegan Black Bean Soup is enjoyed not only in Latin American and Caribbean communities but also by people worldwide who appreciate its rich taste, hearty texture, and healthful ingredients. It continues to evolve with modern culinary trends, showcasing the versatility and adaptability of plant-based cooking.

Ingredients

2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (or another plant-based oil)

2 medium onions, chopped (red, white or yellow)

1 green pepper, finely chopped

6 garlic cloves, pressed or minced

1 tsp dried oregano

4 1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (use 1/4 teaspoon if you're sensitive to spice)

4 cans (15 oz each) black beans, rinsed and drained (low sodium preferable)

4 cups (32 oz) vegetable/chicken broth or water (low sodium preferable)

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

1 to 2 teaspoons vinegar, to taste, or 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 Tbsp brown sugar (optional)

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Optional garnishes: diced avocado, extra cilantro, thinly sliced radishes, tortilla chips (whole wheat preferable)

Directions

1. Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat until shimmering. Add the green pepper and onion and cook,stirring, until slightly softened, about 3 minutes.

2. Add the garlic, oregano, cumin, black pepper and 2 teaspoons salt and stir for another minute.

3. Pour in the vinegar and scrape any browned bits from bottom of pan with a wooden spoon. This is your sofrito.

4. Pour in the beans and broth and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook, reducing heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer, until the broth is flavorful and the beans are very tender, about 30 minutes.

5. Transfer about 4 cups of the soup to a stand blender, securely fasten the lid, and blend until smooth (never fill your blender past the maximum fill line and beware the steam that escapes from the top of the blender, it's very hot). Or, use an immersion blender to blend a portion of the soup.

6. Return the pureed soup to the pot, stir in the cilantro, lime juice and salt and pepper, to taste and serve with white rice.

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