Soup Season is my favorite! Soup is perfect all year long. We have slurp-able Spring Soups, light Summer Soups, filling Fall Soups, and hearty Winter Warming Soups.
Going out to eat can often be a tough thing to do when you are trying to make sure to make healthy choices in all aspects of your life. Lucky for us all – Panera makes it easy to think about what you are ordering before you make any bad choices! I love that they list their fat/calorie counts right on their menu boards so you can figure your meal before you regret a decision. Recently when I went out to lunch with my Grandmother, we stopped at Panera for lunch and in my effort to eat healthy, I decided to give their Black Bean Soup a try.
Long Story Short… I have not been able to get this soup out of my head and knew that I needed to get it back into my mouth and stomach as soon as possible.
Luckily for all of us, Black Bean Soup is not only a light and healthy soup which is loaded with protein (about 1/4 of what you need for the day) and iron, BUT it is also super easy to make. You can play with your level of spice, easily make it a thinner soup by adding more broth, or even put more vegetables in there if you want.
A bowl of Soup like this is a delicious lunch just by itself. If you are cooking for a crowd, throw this together with a quesadilla or a great panini and you have a hearty dinner that still leaves you some calories to enjoy some dessert!
- 1 Medium Onion, small dice
- 2 Cloves of Garlic, minced
- 2 stalks of Celery, finely chopped
- ¼ Red Bell Pepper, chopped
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 Cups Chicken Broth (more or less as needed)
- 2 Cans Black Beans (15 oz), rinsed
- 1 tsp Ground Cumin
- ½ tsp Red Pepper Flakes
- ½ tsp Salt
- about 1 tsp Lemon Juice (optional)
- Add your chopped vegetables to the oil in a soup pot over medium high heat. Saute until onions are translucent. Add the chicken broth and raise to high heat.
- Add your black beans along with the spices and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a slow rolling boil and let cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Take about ⅔ of your soup and put into your high quality blender (OR use a stick blender) and puree until mostly smooth. Alternatively, you can use a potato masher and work the beans until you’ve reached the desired consistency. Be sure to make sure there are still some whole beans in there. Add more liquid (stock OR water) as needed until the soup in just the right consistency for you.
- Add the lemon juice and let simmer for about 5 minutes. Serve up in individual bowls with your favorite garnish (sour cream, chopped green onions, shredded cheese, etc.) and make it a full meal with a side salad or sandwich!
Adapted slightly from Chef Pablos
If you want dessert but still want to keep it healthy, please try…
* Snickerdoodle Dip (made with chick peas)