This Mexican Bean Soup is full of flavor and the best part of it is, it's customizable. I had originally found the recipe from Whole Living (great magazine/blog!), but theirs didn't have much substance to it. So I rummaged through the cupboard to find beans, beans, and more beans.
Now, I have no spice tolerance at all. It's something I have been working on for many years, but I haven't really gotten far at all. Just to build you a picture... the extremely mild salsa at Margarita's is WAY too spicy for me. So, because of this little issue I am working on, I eliminated all the spicy parts. I had bought a jalapeno to put in my boyfriend's soup, because he LOVES spicy foods... but of course I forgot it in the fridge.
Must have ingredients:
6 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons lime juice
6-10 fresh basil leaves
1 small white onion
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 28 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes (drained and crushed)
3 ears of corn
4 cups low sodium chicken stock
Optional Side Ingredients I added:
1 can black beans
1 can black eyed peas
1 can kidney beans
1 can mushrooms
1 can cannelloni beans
Other good add-in's
fresh cilantro (grocery store was out)
1) In a food processor, combine 5 of the garlic cloves, lime juice, and basil. Set to the side.
2) Lightly coat the bottom of a large pot with olive oil and add in chopped onion and 1 chopped garlic clove. Cook over medium heat for about 7 minutes. Be sure to stir occasionally.
3) Add in chicken stock, tomatoes, cumin, and beans. I had forgotten to drain and crush the tomatoes but it didn't matter at all. I ended up just crushing them in the soup mixture.
4) Cut the corn in thirds. This was really hard to do, and my muscles were not able to do it. So in comes my live-in muscle man (a.k.a. my boyfriend). We ended up only putting 1 of the corns in the soup and cooked the other two in the microwave separately. Bring liquid to a boil, then simmer for about 12-15 minutes.
5) At the very end, stir in the garlic/lime mixture.
6) Ladle into bowls and top with sliced avocado
I also served this with (boxed, easy to make) corn bread, very yummy! My live-in food critic (also my live-in muscle man) gave this meal about an 8 out of 10. We both really liked it, but he thought it could also use a rice mixed in. What's great about this meal too, is we had left-overs for a few dinners and lunches!
~Eat Well and Be Happy~