I’ve gotten rid of a lot of things since college. About 90 pounds of pizza weight, my blonde hair, a lot of less-than-adult behavior. I finally tossed a certain green striped rugby shirt that stuck around for about a decade too long. I’ve gotten four different, smaller and better cell phones and I’ve passed my penchant for malt liquor drinking back down to the younger generations, where it belongs. One thing that has stuck around however is this total cheater of a recipe I adapted from an old roommate. I must confess that this recipe is sort of shameful in a very Sandra-Lee-Semi-Homemade kind of way. I like to scoff at her sometimes because it seems like a lot of her recipes include her defrosting something, tossing some chopped onions on top, fixing a cocktail and calling it dinner. However, this particular semi-recipe is win-win-win. “And with win-win-win we all win, even me.”
By win-win-win I mean this soup is cheap-fast-tasty, my personal favorite trifecta of weeknight meal criteria. The cheating with canned goods parts helps out a lot in all of these categories and for that, I can’t fault this soup for being very Semi Homemade.
This is a chunky, spicy black bean soup so thick you could ladle it into a tortilla and make a lovely, messy burrito. It’s so thick in fact, that Rachel Ray might call it a “stoup” (an adorable combination of soup and stew) but I think that word is stoup-id *Ba dump ba ching! I’ll be here all week!*. The secret weapon to this soup is one word two syllables: Goya. There simply is no substitution.
I have tried to make this with organic soups and black beans and it’s just not the same. So drink plenty of water, because I’m sure the sodium content is off the charts, but I promise you, if you’re in a location where it’s socially acceptable, you will lick the bowl.
BLACK BEAN SOUP
(serves five generously, with leftovers)
2 cans Goya Black Bean Soup
2 cans Goya Black Beans
1 red bell pepped, chopped into a large dice
1 yellow pepper, chopped into a large dice
1 medium sized white or yellow onion, chopped into a large dice
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 generous tablespoon cumin
1 pinch chili powder
1 teaspoon flour (optional)
Shredded jack, cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
Flour or corn tortillas, warmed
Mas hot sauce
Heat a good drizzle of olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add onions and garlic to pan to sweat. Add both peppers (also, green works just fine, I just prefer the taste and looks of red and yellow). Lower the heat slightly, add salt, pepper, a generous amount of cumin and a pinch of hot chili powder. Stir to combine. Sauté for a few more minutes. Stir in all four cans of both the soup and black beans. Combine a teaspoon of flour with some warm water in a small bowl. Stir to dissolve the flour completely and add this slurry to the soup, along with a generous dose of hot sauce. At this point, I like to crank the heat up, almost to high, to combine all the flavors, stirring frequently for about five minutes or until I’m convinced any flour-y taste will be dead and gone. Adjust seasonings to your taste, I use a truckload of salt, but that may be personal preference. I also almost always add additional cumin and hot sauce as well. Lower heat to a simmer a let cook for a bit longer. It will be ready to eat, but somehow I’m convinced an extra 10-15 minutes on the burner makes it that much better.
Ladle soup into a bowl, add a layer of shredded cheese, another ladle of soup, a bit more cheese, a dollop of sour cream and splash of hot sauce. Serve with warm tortillas, or tortilla chips. This soup is super filling, salty, spicy and delicious. Great the day it’s made but even better the next.