If you’re looking for some easy meal prep hacks, look no further than whipping up a big ol’ batch of black bean soup. Ready in just about one hour and packed with black beans for protein, this soup also tastes remarkably similar to the one served at Panera Bread.
While this recipe ranks among the best dishes you can make out of cans, the secret ingredient in this soup is just a dash of cumin. Typically used in Indian and Mexican food, this spice adds a little earthiness to the dish that makes it totally irresistible.
For the most authentic cafe experience, bake some homemade bread to go along with this recipe. The soup itself is so simple to make, you can put forth the effort and time to make a loaf. A fresh slice of crusty bread dipped in this slightly spicy soup is a heavenly experience, as all Panera devotees already know. Just make sure you share your loaf on social media — don’t worry, everyone else is doing it too.
Black Bean Soup Recipe
1 large onion
6 cloves garlic
4 stalks of celery
1/2 red, yellow or orange bell pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 cups vegetable broth
4 cans reduced-sodium black beans
1/2 tablespoon cumin
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 pinch of red chili flakes (optional)
Dice onions, bell pepper, celery; mince the garlic.
In a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Cook veggies and garlic until tender and onions are translucent, about 8 minutes.
Add vegetable broth; increase heat to high.
Add black beans (do not drain), cumin, salt, pepper and chili flakes (if using).
Bring soup to boil.
Reduce heat to low and simmer 45-60 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Using an immersion blender on low (or a potato masher), mix and mash the soup until it's at your desired consistency. For the best results, the soup should be well combined but still have some whole black beans.