I’ve been thinking a lot about food lately. No surprise there, right? However, I’m not thinking about which dessert to make next, but rather how I can eat in a healthier, more responsible, and sustainable way. Because of this, I’ve decided to do a 21 day “cleanse” diet. I’m not going to go into the whole story here, but if you’re interested and would like to read more about it; why I’m doing it, what I’m eating, and how I feel, see the link at the top of the page which says “21 Day Cleanse Diet” or go here. At the bottom of that page, you’ll find links to each week’s progress reports.
One of the reasons I’m doing this is to challenge myself as a cook. Can I make healthy, gluten-free, vegan food that people will actually want to eat, regardless of whether they are purposefully choosing to eat this way? I think it’s possible and this black bean soup is a great way to start.
So what about you? Are you thinking more about what you eat? Are you making a conscious effort to eat healthier and how? What are some of your favorite healthy dishes?
Black Bean Soup with Avocado Salsa
Printable Recipe in PDF
1 lb dried back beans
1 cup diced carrots (2 med.)
1 cup diced onion (1 ea.)
1 cup diced celery (about 3 stalks)
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper (1/2 pepper)
1/2 cup diced yellow bell pepper (1/2 pepper)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 ea 28 oz can of diced tomatoes (I used organic)
32 oz vegetable stock plus 3-4 cups water (or more veg stock)
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground cumin
salt and pepper
Cover the dried back beans in water and soak 8 hours or over night. When ready to cook the soup, drain the beans and rinse.
Heat a large soup pot and add the olive oil. Add the carrots, onions and celery and saute until soft. Add the garlic and bell peppers and saute another 2 minutes. Add the dried oregano and cumin, mixing it all together.
Mix in the diced tomatoes and then the 32 oz of vegetable stock. Bring the soup to a simmer and cook until the beans are soft. You will need to add water or more stock as the beans absorb the liquid. Add it in, one cup at a time, as needed. When the soup is done (about 1.5 hrs), add salt and pepper to taste. Serve, topped with avocado salsa and a side of corn tortilla quesadillas (with soy cheese if vegan).
1 avocado, diced (ripe, but still firm)
4 oz cherry tomatoes (I used multi-colored ones)
2 green onions, sliced
1/2 lime (juiced)
1 Tbsp fresh cilantro (chopped)
salt and pepper
Dice the avocado and cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Slice the green onions (white parts and some of the green) thinly on the diagonal. Combine all ingredients, taking care not to mash the avocado.