In honor of today, this delicious winter soup contains ingredients that are traditionally lucky for the New Year. All around the world, beans are a symbol of abundance. Eating them around New Year’s is a good omen for the year ahead. Protein packed, with just enough spice, this soup is a perfect winter meal. It’s also in keeping with another New Year’s tradition, leaving a bit of your leftovers on the table at midnight, to guarantee a plentiful year ahead. This is fitting if you’re beginning a cleanse or healthy routine, to leave the table satisfied but not overstuffed.
Note: If using non-canned beans, there is overnight soaking prep time.
2 cups black beans, canned or dried (see directions below for both options)
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 onion, chopped roughly
1 large carrot, chopped roughly
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons cumin
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon chipotle powder
juice of 1-2 limes
a few tablespoons (possibly up to 1/4 cup, depending on taste) apple cider vinegar
sea salt to taste
2 scallions, minced (for garnish)
a small handful of cilantro, chopped (for garnish)
Soaking Directions (if using non-canned beans):
To lessen the cooking time and to make the beans more digestable, it is ideal to soak the beans overnight in water with a strip of kelp. After about 8-12 hours, strain and rinse the beans. Drain well.
If using canned beans, skip this step and proceed to cooking directions.
Make sure carrots and onions are chopped.
In a large soup pot, melt 2 tablespoons coconut oil over medium-high heat.
Saute the onions and carrots for about 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the garlic and keep stirring frequently, until fragrant.
Stir in the dried spices and beans, allowing everything to cook for a few more minutes, continuing to stir often.
Before the beans start to dry out, add enough water to completely cover them, and allow the water to come to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium, cover and allow beans to simmer for about 30 minutes. Stir every so often.
After 30 minutes check the beans for doneness (should be very tender). If the liquid is getting very low and the beans are not yet tender, add a bit more water to the pot, and continue to cook until the beans are soft.
When they’re done, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
Add the tender beans (and whatever water is left), a little at a time, into a blender with the lime juice.
Puree until you have a thick and creamy soup.
Experiment with the flavor, adding a touch of apple cider vinegar to help balance out the flavors.
Season with sea salt.
Serve with fresh chopped cilantro and scallions (optional).
Recipe: Frank Giglio
Photography: Jenny Nelson