Halloween is just a few short days away and that means I’ve got Thriller on repeat, dreaming about being part of zombie flash mob! Who’s with me?
I love Halloween and any opportunity I can get to dress up and indulge my many alter egos! And although I could go on a rant about the ridiculousity-factor behind sending our kids door-to-door collecting candy laden with high fructose corn syrup and other legal but lethal substances, I’m choosing to focus on the fun stuff – things like pumpkin madness, roasting pumpkin seeds, corn mazes and bobbing for apples.
Before you (and your kiddos) head out for some Halloween fun, be sure to fill up on something warm and hearty.
Today I’m sharing one of my favorite soups that I’ve converted so it’s 100% cleanse-friendly.
Enter Creamy Black Bean Soup with Coconut Lime Crema.
Most black bean soup recipes rely heavily on tomatoes and other nightshades, like peppers. Topped off with a dollop of sour cream and you have one spooky soup.
Are you ready for a festive and flavorful version of my favorite soup that is 100% cleanse-friendly containing no dairy or peppers?
This recipe calls for dried black beans for a few reasons. For starters, dried beans don’t have the astronomical sodium levels so often dumped into the canned counterparts. Dried beans, whether bagged or bought in bulk, also don’t contain BPA (bisphenol A) or other harmful chemicals used in the canning process. We also have more control over seasoning with dried beans. And let’s face it…they just taste better.
If you’ve shunned beans in the past because they’re too hard on your belly, consider soaking and rinsing the dried beans. Doing so helps to eliminate the natural acids and enzymes that make it harder for our bodies to digest and absorb their nutrients.
Try soaking them and you may have a whole new experience!
Since we believe clean, healthy eating doesn’t have to be all or nothing, I’ve also included a canned bean, stovetop variation that can be simmered in a short amount of time. Just make sure to check can labels for “low-sodium” and “BPA-free.”
No matter which recipe variation you’re using, make sure to whip up some coconut lime “crema” to drizzle over your soup. You may not believe it yet but you may never go back to that dollop of dairy.
There’s nothing more grounding than cradling a warm bowl of soup. Enjoy and be sure to look for me in the zombie flash mob.
With love and un-spooky soup,
Creamy Black Bean Soup with
Coconut Lime Crema
Yield: 6 cups
- 1 16 oz. bag of dried black beans (about 2 cups)
- 1 yellow or white onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
- 2 large carrots, finely chopped (about ¾ cup)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 4-6 cups vegetable stock (start with 4 and add more, if soup becomes too thick)
- 1/8-1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1 TB. fresh thyme, chopped
- 1 cup cilantro, chopped, divided
- 2 TB. apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup canned coconut milk
- Juice of 1 lime
- Zest of 1 lime
Sort through dried beans and discard any foreign debris or broken beans. Pour dried beans into a bowl and cover with water by a couple inches. Soak beans for at least an hour or, better yet, overnight.
In a large crock pot, add onion, carrots, garlic, vegetable stock, cayenne, cinnamon, cloves and bay leaves. Stir, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat.
Drain and rinse beans well. Add beans to the crock pot and cook on high for about 6 hours or until beans are soft and creamy. Add more stock as necessary.
Once beans are cooked thoroughly, turn the slow cooker off. Remove bay leaves and add sea salt, thyme, ½ cup cilantro, and apple cider vinegar. Stir together. If desired, use an immersion blender (or blend in an upright blender in batches) until the soup is as chunky or creamy as you prefer. Add more stock to thin a too chunky soup.
To make the coconut lime crema, add coconut milk to a medium bowl. Pouring slowly, whisk in lime juice. Add zest and stir to mix.
Serve each bowl of soup with a few spoonfuls of crema and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro.
Variation: In a time pinch? Using canned beans can speed up the soup making process! Substitute dried beans with 2 large cans (25-29oz) of low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed well. Begin by adding vegetable stock, carrots, and onions to a large pot on the stove and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until carrots are softened. Then add rinsed beans, garlic, cayenne, cinnamon, cloves, and bay leaves. Simmer for 30 minutes. Add fresh thyme, cilantro, and apple cider vinegar and simmer for 5 minutes more. Serve with coconut lime crema and fresh cilantro.