I am trying to make a little something for myself for lunches that I can look forward to midday. It seems that I always have lunches covered in our house for everyone except myself. My summer salad bar has helped a lot throughout the warmer months and now as the weather begins to change, I find myself craving a little hot soup instead.
I love soup that can stick-to-your-ribs not light little broth soups that have no staying power. That is why I was really drawn to this roasted red pepper & black bean soup as a healthy soup alternative that would keep me satisfied throughout the day without needing to add a lot of extra side options.
I decided to try this soup out on my family and it was a total bomb with them except for my son. Did I mention that they ALL hate soup? The fact that I was throwing new flavors into the mix went over not well at all, despite the delicious accompaniment of their favorite pumpkin cornbread muffins. I will be honest that although I can get my family to try a lot, they aren’t always sold on my creations in the kitchen!
Despite the family’s negativity towards this soup, it came out a clear winner for me and will be a new fun addition to my own lunches as a special treat! The spices are perfect in this, the roasted red pepper adds a beautiful color and flavor to the soup, the sour cream adds that perfect balance of creaminess, and the beans add that filling soup combination to help keep you full throughout the day, while the chicken broth makes this soup light enough that even black bean soup haters could learn to love it… well, most black bean soup haters.
The inspiration came from last year’s visit to Sara Lee. It was a delicious soup that Chef Jill had prepared for our visit and I have tweaked it a bit to create the right quantity and texture that I was looking for at home using pantry ingredients! I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did…even if it is just a special treat for yourself!
Black Bean & Roasted Red Pepper Soup (adapted from Sara Lee Kitchens/Chef Jill)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
4 cans of black beans, rinsed
2 jars of roasted red peppers (packed in water), drained
3/4 cups sour cream
3 cups chicken broth (add more if needed to thin)
3 teaspoons oregano
3 teaspoons cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Heat a large, heavy saucepot over medium heat. Add oil and add garlic, cook for 30 seconds. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Simmer, uncovered 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Working in batches, blend until smooth in a blender or food processor. Return to pot. Re-heat. Taste soup and adjust seasonings, if necessary. (Side Note: You can use black beans that you have prepared as well- I love the convenience of the canned beans so that is what I used in this recipe!)
Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins
1 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
3/4 cup buttermilk (I substituted with regular milk and a teaspoon of vinegar to sour)
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 eggs, room
2 tablespoons honey
Sugar for sprinkling (I used the raw sugar)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with muffin liners. In a bowl, toss together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon. In another mixing bowl, mix with a wooden spoon, the pumpkin puree, sour cream or buttermilk , butter, eggs and honey, until well combined. Add the pumpkin mixture to the flour mixture just until combined. Transfer to the prepared muffin tin. Sprinkle with a little sugar (I used raw sugar) on top. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until edges just begin to color. Cool to room temperature. Makes approximately 12-13 muffins.
Looking for some more inspiration in your soup bowl? Two other soups I am looking forward to enjoying again as the weather cools down are this Italian Veggie Soup and this Tuscan Tomato Soup which is a new favorite in my house! The soup kitchen is back in full swing again- I hope you will enjoy these new recipes!
Soups on! What is your favorite soup? Please feel free to share those recipes and links!