Monday, February 16, 2015

Black Bean Soup {Panera Copy-Cat}

Black Bean Soup {Panera Copy-Cat}
Michael has become obsessed with Panera's black bean soup. And we live about 3 minutes from one so this has become a dangerous fact. So-in an attempt to save us money and Michael's health, I decided to try to make a homemade version of the desired soup. And it worked out pretty darned well, if I do say so myself!
Black Bean Soup {Panera Copy-Cat}
Once Michael tasted it he gave me a couple small changes to help make the recipe closer to the original (which are reflected in the recipe below) but he was a pretty happy camper. He gobbled this soup up on its own or with some pita bread. He probably would have loved it even more if I'd put sour cream and cheese on it but...shhh...don't tell him.
Black Bean Soup {Panera Copy-Cat}
When asked to describe the black bean soup Michael said it was a nice, thick, soup. Flavorful and hearty and "fills up your belly". Perfect for a cold night! (And omgeeee has it been cold lately! I think all of us dealing with winter right now NEED and deserve soup!)

Black Bean Soup {Panera Copy-Cat}

Recipe adapted from Chef Pablo's

Black Bean Soup {Panera Copy-Cat}
Makes 1 quart (4-6 servings).
  • 1 small-medium onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 1/4 of a red bell pepper (could skew a little less as well-err on the side of less, not more)
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil or canola oil
  • 1 and 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cans (15 oz. each) black beans
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin (or chili powder)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • Finely chop/mince the onion, garlic, celery, and bell pepper (I used my handy chopper!)
  • Add oil to a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the chopped vegetables. Saute until the onions are soft and translucent. 
  • Add chicken broth to the pot and increase heat to high. Add black beans, salt and ground cumin or chili powder and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to a slow boil and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Use a potato masher to mash the beans to desired consistency--you'll want some whole beans still, but you want it mashed enough that there's an almost creamy consistency.
  • Add lemon juice and let simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and serve! Garnish if desired with cheese, sour cream, etc. 
  • Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Black Bean Soup {Panera Copy-Cat}
I'm a very very nice fiance'. 

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