Black Bean Soup With Lime-Pickled Red Onions

Black Bean Soup With Lime-Pickled Red Onions
4.5 from 2 ratings
Here’s a hearty bean soup that stands on its own without the addition of any meat. A generous mix of spices, including an unexpected hint of sweetness from cinnamon sticks, punches up the flavor, but it’s the garnish that makes this dish memorable. Crunchy lime-pickled red onions paired with avocado cubes float atop each serving.Recipe excerpted from Soup Nights: Satisfying Soups and Sides for Delicious Meals All Year by Betty Rosbottom, Rizzoli New York, 2016. Click here to purchase your own copy.
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup diced celery
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 3/8 teaspoon chipotle chili powder plus more for a spicier taste
  • kosher salt
  • 4, 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed well and drained
  • 5 cup chicken broth or stock (can use vegetable stock as well), plus more if needed
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
  • 1 large red onion
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • kosher salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro, plus 2 teaspoons more for garnish
  • 2 ripe avocados, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  1. In a large, heavy pot over medium heat, heat the oil until hot. Add the onion and celery and cook, stirring often, 4 minutes. Add the garlic and stir 1 minute more. Stir in the cumin, oregano, 3/8 teaspoon chipotle chili powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and stir 1 minute more. Add the black beans, chicken broth or vegetable stock, and cinnamon sticks.
  2. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the soup has reduced by about a third (to about 8 cups) and has thickened, 40 to 45 minutes. Season the soup with salt to taste, and with 1/8 teaspoon chipotle chili powder if you’d like more heat. Remove and discard the cinnamon sticks.
  3. (Soup can be prepared one day ahead. Cook to this stage; cool, cover, and refrigerate. Reheat over medium heat, stirring often. If the soup is too thick, thin with more broth.)
  4. Peel, then halve the onion through the root end. Cut each half crosswise into very thin slices to yield 1 1/2 cups. Transfer onions to a medium nonreactive bowl and toss well with the lime juice, salt, sugar, and 1 tablespoon cilantro. Marinate onions for 30 minutes; they will still be crisp.
  5. (Onions can be prepared 2 hours ahead. Keep covered and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature 30 minutes before using.)Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish each serving with pickled onions (spooning a little of the marinating liquids along with them), diced avocado and a sprinkle of cilantro. Pass extra onions in a bowl.