We’re trying to address my desire to grocery shop and thus overspend on our grocery budget. Dave Ramsey recommends eating rice and beans to cut down on spending. And well, that just sounds a little boring. But sometimes, when life gives you rice and beans, you make some black bean soup.
Now, for years, I have been intimidated about cooking dry beans. I don’t know why, but it seemed like they were either crunchy or popping open. My mom finally stepped me through the process and I finally had some success! I have to admit, black beans are probably the easiest ones that I have found. While I describe soaking the beans below, you really can skip that and just turn it on to a low simmer for about 45 minutes. Dried beans are cheaper plus you avoid added sodium and the BPA from the cans, but it is completely acceptable to use canned beans here. You need about 4 cans.
(photo courtesy of babble)
1 lb black beans
1 bag frozen corn
1 small can green chiles
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp cilantro
1 tsp garlic powder
8 cups water
Put beans and water in a large pot. Turn on medium-high until boiling. Turn off heat, cover. Soak. Do this in the morning while you’re brushing your teeth. Let them soak all day. Add seasonings and about 1 tsp salt. About 2 hours before dinner turn the pot back on and bring them to simmer for about 45 minutes. Taste one – if it’s firm but soft and chewy, turn off the heat. Otherwise, keep cooking.
Drain beans, reserving the liquid in a bowl.
Set aside 2 cups beans.
Dump beans, green chiles and 3 cups liquid into blender and blend until liquidy.
Pour back into pot and simmer, adding back the 2 cups of beans and bag of frozen corn.
Serve hot, over brown rice, if you want and top with diced avocados, shredded cheese, sour cream or anything else you enjoy!
Printable version here: Budget Black Bean Soup
P.S. If you’re looking for some cuban-style black beans, you should check out Kara’s: http://vegetariansalmon.wordpress.com/2013/03/26/guest-post-kdks-cuban-black-beans/