Big Batch Black Bean Soup

Tried and true, this recipe was one of the delicious soups served while on winter retreat last year.  Warning makes a really big batch of soup perfect for a big party, potluck or for freezing.  Enjoy!

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 medium yellow onions, chopped
4 celery ribs, chopped fine
2 large carrot, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
9 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
4 teaspoons cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
½ teaspoon+ red pepper flakes
6 (15-ounce) cans of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can diced tomatoes
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
1 to 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar, to taste, or 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Optional garnishes: diced avocado, extra cilantro, thinly sliced radishes, tortilla chips…

Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions, celery and carrot and a light sprinkle of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetable are soft, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Stir in the garlic, cumin and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour in the beans and broth and bring to a simmer. Cook until the broth is flavorful and the beans are very tender, about 30 minutes.

Puree about 4 cups of the soup in a blender until smooth (beware the steam that escapes from the top of the blender, it’s very hot). Return the pureed soup to the pot, stir in the cilantro, vinegar/lime juice and salt and pepper, to taste. Serve.

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