When my son, Andrew, was about three years old, he had a little run-in with a hot chile. We were at a restaurant waiting for our food, and there was a jar of jalapeños on the table. You know how kids become intrigued with the oddest things? Wellllll, Andrew became absolutely fixated on that jar. Those little peppers looked so inviting, and the jar just sat there, daring him to pick it up. It would’ve been really nice if our food had arrived right then, but it didn’t, and you can guess what happened next. He grabbed that jar, twisted it open, and popped a pepper right into his little mouth. It went well for about 20 seconds, and then his eyes starting watering, he broke out in little beads of sweat and he wailed about the heat burning his mouth. Oddly, five minutes later, he wanted a second one, and then a third. He’s had a thing for spicy foods ever since!
For some reason, I totally crave spicy foods in the winter. Maybe it’s because outside, everything is white and grey and brown. There’s just not much zip out there. My body feels the need to balance this with fiery flavors and colors. Spicy Black Bean Soup does the trick! It’s super healthy, filling, and tastes like a wintry comfort food should. Add some hot cornbread or a green salad, and you’ve got a super fast, complete meal. Regulate the heat by using fewer chiles or…if you dare…adding even more! Andrew would be proud.
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 medium red onions, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 tsp. ground cumin
- 3 cans black beans
- 1 Tbsp. canned chipotle chiles
- 5 cups chicken broth
- 2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. ground black pepper
- 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
- Plain Greek yogurt
- Chopped tomatoes
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Fresh cilantro
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and peppers and heat until browned and soft.
- Add the garlic and cumin. Cook 30 seconds.
- Drain beans and run quickly under water.
- Chop and mash chipotle chiles. Add beans and chiles to pot.
- Add broth, salt and pepper and simmer on low for 30 minutes.
- Blend half the soup until smooth, and add back into pot. Stir to combine.
- Stir lime juice into soup just before serving.
- Top with cheddar cheese, Greek yogurt, tomatoes and cilantro.
- Serve warm.
*Modify the spice level by leaving out the chiles or adding more. Chipotles are intensely hot and fragrant, so take care to add in small doses.
*Don't handle hot chiles with bare hands. I slip a sandwich baggie over my hands to aroid contact. Works like a charm!