Black bean soup with chorizo sausage

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 pound uncooked chorizo sausage, casings removed (substitute andouille or other spicy sausage)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 6 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 2 red bell peppers, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 pound dried black beans, rinsed and picked over
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes or tomato sauce
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

In a large pot, heat the olive oil. Brown the sausage meat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon into small pieces as it cooks. Add the onion, celery, carrots, and bell peppers, and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, sprinkle with salt, and saute one minute more. Add the beans, tomatoes, chicken stock, water, and spices to the pot. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat, cover the pot, and simmer gently about 2 hours, until the beans are soft and the flavors have blended. Puree the soup in the pot with an immersion blender in bursts, leaving it a little chunky. Serve hot garnished with shredded cheese, sour cream, diced avocado, crushed tortilla chips, or croutons.

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