Here is a hearty soup for a cold winter evening, perfect for vegans if you use vegetable broth, but still hearty enough for the most carnivorous family members. This warms up well too, so pack leftovers into single meal sized containers tot take to work or school for a quick warm up in the microwave.
When served with a winter salad (see link here) and a grilled cheese sandwich, this would make a really hearty and healthy meal to top off a day of snow shoveling, skiing, or otherwise getting a good winter work out.
Black Bean and Tomato Soup
1 T canola or olive oil
1/2 large onion (about 3/4 c), chopped
3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced, to taste
3 c cooked, unsalted, black beans, including liquid--divided
1 14 1/2 oz can diced tomatoes and chilies
1 c butternut squash puree
2 chicken or vegetable bouillon cubes
1 t cumin
1 t oregano
approximately 1 c (loosely packed) chopped cilantro, including stems
1. Saute the onion and garlic in the oil over medium heat, until the onions are translucent and starting to turn golden brown.
2. Meanwhile, combine 1 1/2 c of the beans and the tomatoes and chilies and squash in a processor or blender and blend until smooth.
3. Add the tomato and bean mixture to the onions, along with the bouillon cubes, cumin, oregano, and about 2 c water. (Fill the tomato can with water to rinse it out and add that to the mixture.)
4. Bring the mixture to a boil, stir in the remaining black beans and cilantro, and taste, adjusting seasoning as necessary. If the mixture is too thick, you may want to add a bit more water.
5. Turn the burner to medium low and continue to simmer about 20 minutes, to blend the flavors. The soup can be chilled at this point and reheated.
6. Serve topped with yogurt and chopped cilantro if desired. Makes about 6 one cup servings.
NOTE: If you have an immersion blender, you could add all ingredients except half the beans and the water to the sauteed onions and blend until the mixture is smooth. Then add the remaining beans and water, continuing with step 5 above.