My sister Valerie thinks the week between Christmas and New Year's is the best part of the holiday season,. She loves it when the rush of Christmas is over but kids are home from school and there's a little extra time to hang out with the family. I enjoyed Christmas day at her house, watching the kids open their gifts and indulging in quite a bit of holiday food. Now it's back-to-reality for me, and this vegetarian black bean and sweet potato soup seems perfect after a few days of indulgent eating. It's light enough to help you recover from holiday food overload, easy enough that you don't need much time in the kitchen, and warm and comforting if you're in a part of the world where the weather is cold.
Heat olive oil in a heavy soup pot, then saute onions for 6-8 minutes, or until they're just starting to brown. Then add minced garlic, ground coriander, ground cumin, ground fennel, and black pepper and saute about 1-2 minutes more.
While onions are cooking, chop up one large sweet potato into pieces. (If the sweet potato isn't that big I would use two; I wouldn't have minded more sweet potato in this.)
When onions and spices have been sauteed, add vegetable (or chicken) stock, black beans, and sweet potatoes to the soup pot, along with salt to taste.
Then use an immersion blender or regular blender to puree the remaining soup. (Be very careful if you do this in a regular blender!)
Add the reserved beans and sweet potatoes back into the soup and simmer about 15 minutes more. Taste to see if you want more salt, then add the lime juice and simmer for 5 more minutes. Serve hot, with a dollop of fat free Greek yogurt or sour cream.
(Makes 4-6 servings, recipe adapted from Black Bean Soup with Sweet Potatoes found in Fine Cooking Soups and Stews.)
1 T olive oil
1 large onion, diced small
1 tsp. minced garlic
3/4 tsp. ground coriander
3/4 - 1 tsp. ground cumin (I used a whole teaspoon, but I love cumin)
1/4 tsp. ground fennel
fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 large or 2 medium sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 cans (15 oz. can) black beans, rinsed and drained
4 cups homemade vegetable or chicken stock (or use 3 cans broth and just freeze the extra)
salt to taste
2 T fresh-squeezed lime juice
fat free Greek yogurt or light sour cream for serving
lime wedges to squeeze into the soup, optional
Heat olive oil in heavy soup pot, add diced onion and cook over medium heat for 6-8 minutes, or until onions are just starting to brown. Add minced garlic, ground coriander, ground cumin, ground fennel and fresh-ground black pepper and saute 1-2 minutes more, or until spices are becoming fragrant.
While onions are cooking, peel and dice sweet potato and rinse beans until no more foam appears, then drain. After onions and spice mixture have been sauteed, add the diced sweet potatoes, black beans, and vegetable or chicken stock to the soup pot, along with salt to taste. Let soup simmer on medium-low heat for about 30 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are falling-apart tender. (There will be some foam from the beans that rises to the top during cooking; just skim off with a large spoon or stock skimmer.)
When sweet potatoes are tender, use a slotted spoon to remove 3 cups of beans and sweet potatoes; then use an immersion blender or regular blender to puree the remaining soup. (Be very careful with the hot soup if using a regular blender; fill the blender container only about 3/4 full and hold the lid on the blender with a towel or hot pad draped over the lid.)
Add the reserved sweet potatoes and beans back into the soup and simmer about 15 minutes more. Taste to see if you want to add more salt; then add the lime juice and simmer about 5 minutes more.
Serve hot, with a dollop of fat free Greek yogurt or light sour cream. If desired you can serve with lime wedges so people who want to can squeeze more lime juice into their soup.
South Beach Suggestions:
This low-glycemic soup would be approved for phase 2 or 3 of the South Beach Diet, due to the sweet potatoes. Be sure to use fat-free Greek yogurt or light sour cream to keep this South Beach diet friendly.
More Vegetarian Soups with Black Beans:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Black Bean and Rice Soup with Lime and Cilantro from Kalyn's Kitchen
Crockpot Vegetarian Black Bean and Tomatillo Soup from Kalyn's Kitchen
Stormy Black Bean Soup from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen
African Sweet Potato Soup with Peanut Butter, Black Eyed Peas, and Beans from Gluten Free Goddess
Vegan Black Bean and Sweet Potato Stew from The Perfect Pantry
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)