Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Smoky Coconut-Lime Black Bean & Brown Rice Soup

It was a gorgeous fall day here last Friday and my daughter and I enjoyed the sunshine, cool breezes, the sound of acorns falling from the sky, the feel of crunching leaves under our feet, and richer aromas in the kitchen. Below is the perfect picture of our leisurely afternoon--Theraflu (for me) and our shared acorn stash.

I saw this on Pinterest and in case anyone needs any more reasons to love fall--here you go!

(courtesy of 

And one of my favorite things about about fall is: It's SOUP weather! I tried making a new soup that I wanted to share. More than half the soups I make have some sort of tomato base and I wanted to try a black bean soup that was different and thought of coconut milk. It ended up being delicious and even my 2 year old ate it. My husband called it 'CLEAN-tasting.' But, I call it complex. It is smoky, sweet, salty, tangy, tart, creamy, and spicy all in one. You can taste the lime, the garlic, the coconut, the cilantro, and the chipotle. Layers of flavor! Hope you enjoy it!


Makes 4-6 servings
  • 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. minced chipotle chile in adobo sauce (I used 1 chili & added a bit of extra 'sauce' from the can)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (or about 4 Trader Joe's frozen cilantro cubes)
  • 2 (15 1/2 oz) cans black beans, UN-drained
  • 1 (15 oz) can light (reduced-fat) coconut milk
  • 1 lime--for zest & juice
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice (or white if you prefer)
  • Salt & pepper, to taste (smoked salt preferred if you have it)
  • Water
  • 1 SMALL squirt of agave nectar (OPTIONAL)*

In a large pot over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onion, garlic, cumin, chile, and cilantro. Saute for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1/2 cup of water and reduce heat to low. Continue to saute onions for about 10 more minutes or until softened.

Pour beans AND their liquid in with the onions. Add the coconut milk. Add about 1 1/2 -2 cups more of water. Bring up the heat to high until the soup boils. Once it boils, reduce heat to medium-low and let it simmer for about 15 minutes. Add the lime zest and lime juice and mix.

Measure out about 1 cup of bean/soup mixture and puree until smooth. Return the bean puree to the soup (to thicken) and add the cooked rice. Stir the soup. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.

Serve warm.

Ladle out the soup into bowls and serve with sour cream or plain, Greek yogurt, and more lime wedges. We even tried it with avocado slices and tortilla chips--it was awesome!

*(Mine tasted just the tiniest bit bitter--which I am guessing was from the chile --but who, knows? And so I added a little bit of agave nectar and the soup was elevated to WONDERFUL. I can't figure out why, but it really just MADE IT. I've done that before for soups when they taste slightly bitter or salty and it just works. You can skip this step if you want.)

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