Easy Black Bean Soup with Avocado

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Black beans and avocados are a match made in heaven. The beans themselves are soft and sweet, while the avocado is rich and buttery. And, since they have a similar texture, they basically melt in your mouth as you eat them. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, give this Easy Black Bean Soup with Avocado a try. It not only comes together in about 30 minutes, but it has an unbelievable flavor that will make you a believer!

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This Easy Black Bean Soup with Avocado recipe is super flavorful, and it’ll definitely warm you up on a cold night. I’ve also eaten it at room temperature in the summer, though, when it’s too hot to turn on the oven. It makes an excellent side dish to tacos or burrito bowls, but it’s also filling enough to eat on its own. Whether you’re enjoying it for dinner or leftover lunch, it always tastes great!

Blooming the Spices

After cooking the onions, garlic, and bell pepper for this recipe, we take a minute to perform a step  called “blooming the spices.” You may have been doing this for years in your cooking without ever knowing what it was called! It’s an important way to build layers of flavor into your food, and it makes a huge difference in this Easy Black Bean Soup with Avocado recipe.

You might be tempted to throw the cumin, paprika, pepper, salt, and oregano in at the same time as the vegetable broth. We’d urge you to follow the instructions and let us know if you thought it made a difference! Basically, we’re asking you to toast the spices in the cooking oil for one minute before moving on. It allows the spices to open up ands “bloom,” creating a more aromatic and flavorful soup.

Then, the spices get to simmer along with the beans, broth, and diced tomatoes. Since they’ve opened up, they will more easily bind with the other ingredients, infusing their flavor into each and every bite. You won’t believe how smokey and flavorful this soup can be just by following that one, simple step!

Canned Tomatoes Versus Fresh Tomatoes

If you’re making this recipe in the middle of the summer, you could totally use fresh tomatoes. They were probably picked ripe, meaning they’ll have a sweeter flavor and a lot of nutrients. Out-of-season tomatoes, on the other hand, are picked green. Because they ripen in the truck as they make their way to your grocery store, these tomatoes not only taste a bit blah but also lack vitamins and minerals.

That’s why we recommend using canned tomatoes, especially in the wintertime. These tomatoes are picked and packed at the peak of their freshness, so they’re nutrient-dense and they’ll taste great. There’s no shame in using canned tomatoes for this reason!

When you’re selecting a brand of canned tomatoes, take a close look at the nutrition label. Ideally, you want the ingredients label to list a few ingredients: tomatoes and citric acid (a preservative). Avoid any can that has high-fructose corn syrup or salt, as these are unnecessary additions.

Many times, diced tomatoes are packed with calcium chloride to help them keep their shape. If you’re worried about this ingredient, you can use whole tomatoes to make this Easy Black Bean Soup with Avocado. Simply crush them between your hands, or give them a quick chop on the cutting board.

Easy Black Bean Soup with Avocado

Easy Black Bean Soup with Avocado

Yield: 8 Servings | Serving Size: about 1 1/2 cups | Calories: 395 | Total Fat: 6 g | Saturated Fat: 1 g | Carbohydrates: 67 g | Fiber: 18 g | Sugar: 5 g | Protein: 22 g | Cholesterol: 0 mg | Sodium: 267 mg | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 2

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced small
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced small
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 4 cups black beans, cooked (if using canned, rinse well)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pit removed, and diced small
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges

Instructions

  1. In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil on medium heat. Once hot, add the onion, garlic, and bell pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the onions just being to soften. Stir in the cumin, paprika, pepper, salt, and oregano. Cook for another minute.
  2. Stir in the beans, tomatoes and vegetable broth. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 30 minutes, uncovered.
  3. Ladle into serving bowls and top with diced avocado and cilantro. Squeeze one lime wedge over each bowl of soup. Enjoy!
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