With soup season well underway I am taking every opportunity I can to conjure up a warming pot of soup! Given my meal of choice I’ll pick soup nine times out of ten. For me, it’s the most perfect meal. Nothing is more comforting or warming. I find the act of prepping and cooking soup just as rewarding as the eating!
This hearty, stick-to-your-ribs soup is brimming with black beans, tomatoes, red onion and bacon. It’s lightly spiced with chile powder and cilantro. Black beans have a ton of rich, earthy flavor hiding inside them, an earthiness that is brought out further by the smoky saltiness of bacon.
Refried beans are my secret weapon, adding a thick creaminess that can’t be matched. The acidity of the tomatoes gives it a kick of flavor and a spritz of lime juice brightens up the entire dish.
Even though this is delicious all on its own the toppings really add a little something extra special and can take it from an appetizer to a complete meal. Sour cream gives it a cool creaminess, lovely in contrast to the steaming hot soup (avocado or guacamole has a similar effect). Shredded cheese and tortilla chips turn it into something altogether extraordinary.
tortilla chips, for serving
1. In a large soup pot cook bacon over medium-low heat until crispy. Remove and drain on paper towels. Drain grease. Add two tablespoons olive oil and saute onion until tender. Add garlic and saute until fragrant.
2. Add broth, tomatoes, Worcestershire, chili powder, beans and bacon. Season well with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally and tasting halfway through to adjust seasonings as needed.
3. Stir in cilantro and continue to simmer 5 minutes. Stir in lime juice and serve with sour cream, cheese and/or tortilla chips.
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