I think a training session and license should be required before being allowed to use an immersion blender. However, I have inadvertently served this without blending it and it is still fabulous! Just like last week’s lentil soup, this is from Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker, (with the amount of cayenne reduced) so you can do all the work in advance, and have a steaming bowl of healthiness waiting for you! I’ve doubled the recipe – just make sure your crockpot has the capacity.
1 TBS olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 small green pepper, seeded and chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 – 15.5 oz. cans black beans, drained and rinsed
28 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
8 cups vegetable broth
4 bay leaves
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
1/8 tsp. cayenne (more if you like spicy)
Salt and pepper
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, bell pepper, and garlic. Saute until softened, at least 5 minutes.
Transfer the cooked vegetables to the slow cooker. Add the beans, tomatoes, broth, bay leaves, cumin, thyme, and cayenne. Stir. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
Remove the bay leaves. If you prefer a thicker soup, use an immersion blender to puree some of the soup, or you can transfer batches into a regular blender, taking care not to splatter boiling hot liquid out the top when you start it up.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Just before serving, add the lemon juice.
Lemon juice may seem an odd addition, but it really brightens the flavor. Have fun, experiment with blended or not blended, enjoy!