Over the last week, I’ve been making an effort to cut out most of the meat, dairy and refined carbs in my diet. While again, I’m not fully vegan or vegetarian, eating a plant-based diet the majority of the time makes me feel better and gives me more energy throughout the day. The more I cut out the bad foods, the less I crave them. This has led me to start gravitating towards healthier foods, like my spicy black bean soup. The recipe I based mine on can be found here, however, it isn’t vegetarian.
As a society, we tend to think carbs are bad, fattening and unhealthy. When you’re eating a vegetarian diet though, you need more plant-based proteins and carbs to make up for the meat you aren’t eating. I love this spicy black bean soup because it is delicious, filling, and completely satisfying with absolutely no meat or dairy! I served it over brown rice and topped it with some avocado, chopped onion, and cilantro, but if you don’t mind the dairy, feel free to add some sour cream and shredded cheese for extra flavor!
For less spice, use less jalapeno, skip the red pepper flakes, and use mild Rotel.
Spicy Black Bean Soup
- 3 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
- 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 cup red onion, finely chopped
- 1 medium bell pepper, cored, seeded and finely chopped
- 3 jalapeño peppers finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 5 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried chili powder
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups veggie broth
- 1 can hot Rotel
- Juice of 2 lemons
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the red onion, red bell pepper and jalapeño (I left a good amount of the seeds in with the jalapeno for added heat) and sauté until the onion is softened, 2 minutes. Add the garlic and continue cooking 2 minutes longer, stirring often. Sprinkle the mixture with the cumin, chili powder, and red pepper flakes. Continue cooking until the spices are fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes, then stir in the broth, Rotel, and black beans. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Transfer 1 cup of the beans from the soup to a small bowl and set aside. Purée the remaining soup either with a hand-held immersion blender or conventional blender (if using a conventional blender, it might be best to purée two in batches).
- Return the reserved beans to the soup, stir in the lemon juice, taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. To serve, ladle soup into serving bowls and garnish with desired toppings such as sour cream, avocado, diced onions, green onions, cilantro or fresh diced jalapeno. I served mine over rice too!
How do you feel about trying to eat less meat? I personally feel less “weighed down” and tired when I cut down on animal proteins and fats in my diet. I have several other meatless dishes that I love, like my roasted veggie salad and my mushroom black bean burgers! Why not give them a try next?