My family was out of town this weekend. I missed them terribly, but I was also very busy getting A LOT done. I wanted them to come home to a good meal so we could sit around the table and swap stories, but I didn’t want to be stuck in the kitchen before or after they arrived.
Sometimes you know you are going to have a crazy busy day and making a good dinner is going to be a challenge. But thanks to the slow cooker, it’s not impossible.
Crockpot black bean soup is one of my favorites and one of the easiest and most budget friendly meals you can make for your family. The secret ingredient that transforms this otherwise humble pot of beans into a delicious and satisfying meal is apple cider vinegar. So while it sounds weird, just trust me…don’t skip it! It makes the soup taste amazing! The large amount of onions and garlic not only give the soup flavor but also offer strong antioxidants and potent antimicrobial nutrients to strengthen your family for the germs that seem to love gracing us with their presence this time of year. By the end of the day the beans should be very well done so that they start to fall apart and leave the water base somewhat creamy. Use an immersion blender to partially puree for a creamier base or puree the entire pot for a smooth finish (the preference among picky little eaters!).
Time Saving Tip: If you are really pressed for time, you can skip the sauteed veggies and use a cup or two of salsa instead, but be sure to add the vinegar! You will not need to use as much salt as salsa is typically already salty, so adjust accordingly.
Serve the soup with several topping choices such as a squeeze of lime, diced avocados, tomatoes, green onions, pico de gallo, cilantro, baked tortilla chip strips, or rice.
- 1 lb. (2 cups) dried black beans
- 1 bay leaf
- 8 cups water
- 2 green bell peppers, chopped
- 2 onions, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ tsp. cumin
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- 2 tsp. sea salt
- 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- Rinse and soak the beans in the crockpot overnight.
- Rinse and cook beans in crockpot on high with bay leaf and water for ~8 hours.
- Remove bay leaf and any excess water (the beans should just barely be covered in water).
- Water saute the vegetables until tender.
- Add sauted vegetables, seasonings, and vinegar when beans are finished cooking.
- Allow to cook for another 10 minutes to allow flavors to combine.
- Puree with an immersion blender OR serve chunky with several topping choices such as a squeeze of lime, diced avocados, tomatoes, green onions, pico de gallo, cilantro, baked tortilla chip strips, or rice.