It is getting bitingly cold out here!
It’s been getting down into the 30’s, and I can not seem to bundle up enough! You know what helps, though? Soup.
I finally got over my 3? 4? 5? year-long boycott of my local Panera, after I was sure every employee that used to work there and ruin everything, ever to the point that I had to create a Yelp account solely to review Panera, was gone. LOL. Kinda wish I was kidding… It was BAAAAD, you guys.
But guess what? It’s awesome again and I have been living off their soup! (Try the squash one….OMG!)
I also made homemade soup—this soup. It’s so thick, and rich, and hearty, and has so many fun toppings! The toppings totally make it, and in this case, you can’t have too many. The lime and hot sauce add an awesome acidity that cuts through the rich soup, the creme fraiche offers a tangy note, the cotija is salty and cheesy, the cilantro adds freshness and vibrancy, and bacon…well bacon makes everything better!
This soup is crazy easy to throw together, and you can control the consistency all on your own. Heck, you don’t even have to puree it at all if you don’t want!
Yield: about 4 servings
- 3-4 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
- 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes with jalapeños
- 2 (15 oz.) cans black beans
- 2 cups high-quality chicken stock (homemade is best!)
- salt and pepper
- creme fraiche, to serve
- fresh cilantro, to serve
- creme fraiche, to serve
- lime wedges, to serve
- hot sauce, to serve
- In a heavy-bottomed pot or dutch oven, crisp the badon over medium to medium-high heat. Scoop the cooked bacon onto a paper-towel-lined plate, and set aside. Leave the bacon fat in the pot.
- To the pot, add the onion and a pinch of salt and pepper, and cook for 2-4 minutes until softened. Add in the garlic and cumin and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more. Add in the tomatoes and thir juice, the beans and their liquid, and the chicken stock, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to simmer and cook for 30 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, scoop 2-4 cups (depending upon how thick you want your soup...leave more in if you want it thicker) of the bean/onion/tomato mixture out of the liquid, and set aside. Pour the remainder of the soup into your blender, and puree until smooth. Pour it back into the pot, and stir in the reserved bean mixture.
- Serve the soup with an assortment of toppings (the more, the better!) including: creme fraiche, the crisped bacon, lime wedges, fresh cilantro, cotija cheese, and hot sauce.