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Chipotle Black Bean Soup 

Servings: 6-8

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten Free

I prefer to use dry beans when making soups where beans are the primary ingredient.  It just requires a bit of planning.  Canned beans may be used in a pinch, but you will not need nearly as much liquid.   

1 pound dry black beans, soaked overnight

1 tablespoon olive oil 

1 large white or yellow onion, diced

2 medium carrots, peeled and diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1-2 chipotles in adobo, minced 

2 teaspoons ground cumin 

1 teaspoon Mexican oregano 

1 tablespoon chili powder

2 cups orange juice

6 cups vegetable broth 

salt and pepper

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

Cilantro-Pecan Pesto 

1 cup cilantro leaves, washed and dried

1 tablespoon pecans

1 tablepsoon pepitas

1 clove garlic, smashed

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil 

salt and pepper 

garnish: toasted pepitas, diced avocado, lime slice, cilantro pecan pesto


Rinse and sort beans - pulling out anything that isn't a bean (stones, small piece of wood...).  Place beans in a large bowl and cover with water, leaving about 2 inches of water at top. Let sit overnight or at least 8 hours at room temperature. 

Drain and rinse beans.  Transfer to a large pot.  Cover with fresh cold water.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to - medium/medium low and simmer about 1 - 1 1/2 hours or until almost tender.  

In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onion, bell pepper and carrot.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook for about 10-15 minutes or until softened.  Add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.  Be careful not to brown these ingredients - adjust heat accordingly. 

Add chipotles, cumin, oregano and chili powder.  Stir and cook for about 30 seconds. Add orange juice, stock, beans and salt and pepper to taste.  Increase heat to medium high and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium/medium low and simmer for about 20-30 minutes until beans are tender. 

Puree with an immersion blender or let cool slightly and blend in food processor or blender.  Does not have to be super smooth - I like the soup to still have little bite or texture.  

Season to taste with additional salt and pepper.  Stir in lime juice just before serving. (Thin with additional stock if too thick. You can make it thicker or thinner depending on your personal preference.)

To make pesto: 

In a food processor, minced cilantro, pecans, pepitas, garlic and salt and pepper.  Slowly drizzle in olive oil and process until almost smooth (again, I like a bit of texture) 

To serve:

Ladle into bowls. Dollop on the pesto, sprinkle with toasted pepitas and diced avocado. Add a slice of lime. 

* soup and pesto can be made up to two days ahead.   

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