On a whim, I cooked up some dried black beans because I wanted to try out the Lazy Cook’s Black Beans technique described on Serious Eats. I didn’t use the fresh garlic, onion, or orange, just some granulated garlic and onion powder from my spice rack. Even without the aromatics, I have to say I really loved how the beans tasted after cooking, especially with the “gravy” that’s left. They’re much more flavorful than when I soak them overnight and simmer, then drain. I was so impressed that I’d like to actually try their full recipe at some point!
I also made brown rice using my favorite technique: in the oven. I had a vague sense of wanting to make a plate of simple rice and beans, but my mind wandered from that thought. I made up a bowl of beans, rice (made with cilantro and lime), corn, cheese, and taco sauce…a makeshift Chipotle-style burrito bowl. And it was OK, but I was looking for something more interesting.
So I explored the idea of making a soup. I love to have broth-based soups around because they’re filling but not heavy. I wanted to include black beans, rice, onion, cilantro, and lime for sure. And, oh yeah, chipotle powder! I found a recipe that got me in the ballpark, then adapted it for my kitchen from there.
And my expectations were completely blown away. I think it’s the fresh lime juice that puts this soup over the top. It looks very unassuming in the bowl, but tastes incredible. I’ve been having it with a baked potato on the side, but it would be really good with corn bread.
Spicy Vegan Black Bean and Rice Soup
- 1/2 medium onion, diced
- 1/2 tbsp canola oil
- 1 tsp granulated garlic
- 1/2 tbsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tbsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp chipotle powder
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 c water
- 1-2 tsp Better than Bouillon Vegetable Base
- 14.5 oz can whole tomatoes, lightly pureed
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 10 oz cooked black beans (or a bit more or less is fine)
- 1/2 c cooked brown rice
- juice from 1/2 lime
- 1/4 c chopped cilantro
- Mix granulated garlic, cumin, oregano, chipotle powder, and paprika in a small bowl and set aside. Make a broth by heating the water a couple of minutes in the microwave, then stirring in the vegetable base until it dissolves. Set aside.
- In a Dutch oven or other heavy pot, saute the onion in oil over medium heat until softened. Stir in the spice mixture.
- Stir in broth, tomatoes, tomato paste, and beans. Add salt to taste. Simmer for 15 min.
- Add cooked rice, simmer 10 min.
- Stir in lime juice and cilantro, and simmer 5 min.
The soup is delicious as is, but is also good with some shredded cheese on top.