This post written by the original Ebby.
Though not quite official, autumn has arrived and with it comes my favorite time of year. I can’t get enough of the crisp days, golden stalks of corn, orchards bursting with fresh apples and roadside pumpkin stands. There are bonfires and new sweaters and flannel sheets for people like me who are never warm once the temps dip below 60 degrees.
The only way I could enjoy this season more is if it weren’t a precursor to months of freezing temperatures and never-ending snowfalls. One of these years I’m moving south.
But if I lived in Arizona I might not appreciate how autumn changes the way I think about food. After months of light summer fare, suddenly I yearn for the warmth of a hearty soup simmering away on the stove and the scent of cinnamon-laced apple crisp wafting from the oven.
Over the weekend I made one of my favorites: Black Bean & Salsa Soup. It’s a perfect combination of smooth and chunky and spicy and hearty. Also, it uses basic pantry items like canned beans and salsa. Be sure to spring for the fresh lime juice and cilantro, though, as it really adds great flavor to the finished product.
Black Bean & Salsa Soup
1 tsp. vegetable oil
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 C. water (chicken broth is also good, as it adds a little more flavor)
½ tsp. chipotle chile powder (I used about a teaspoon of minced chipotle chile in adobo sauce instead…it doesn’t take much to get some serious heat)
3 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (8-ounce) bottle salsa (can use anywhere from mild to hot, depending on your taste)
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
½ C. chopped fresh cilantro
½ C. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Corn tortilla chips
Heat oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and sauté one minute, being careful not to burn. Stir in water, chipotle powder, beans and salsa. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 1 minute.
Place 3 cups of black bean mixture in a blender or food processor; process until smooth. Return pureed mixture to pan. Stir in lime juice; simmer 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and sprinkle in cilantro
Garnish with cheese and crushed tortilla chips. YUM!