If you are in the mood for a healthy bowl of Southwestern flair but short on time or energy- this is the soup. With only six main ingredients, it's really low effort, but not at all boring! (My son said it looked boring until he took a bite then said "wow!") The secret is the spice blend...like a train to flavor town. Warmly spicy from chili powder, cayenne, and black pepper, then balanced with dried herbs. Plus the soup is creamy without adding any dairy, (kudos, black beans)--I'll take it.
And there is one entire can of beer in this soup. I'll take that too.
FYI, an immersion blender works perfectly to get it smooth with just enough texture left for interest (use a blender or food processor if you don't have one). You probably already have all of the ingredients for this soup on hand, so now you have an assignment. Also, black beans are really nutritious--loads of protein--so the soup fills you up and satisfies you without the addition of meat.
"Swap the chicken broth for vegetable broth to make it full-on vegetarian"
Notes: Black beans are organic. Beer is Devil's Gap Jalapeño Ale by Kinkaider Brewing Co.
Jalapeño Ale & Black Bean Soup
Ingredients: 1-2 tbsp. olive oil, 1 large onion-chopped, 3 carrots-peeled and chopped, 2 tsp. minced garlic, 1 can jalapeño ale, 2 cans drained black beans, 1 can beer, 4 1/2 cups chicken broth, 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper, 1 tbsp. chili powder, 1 tsp. cayenne pepper, 1 tsp. cumin seeds, 1 tsp. dried oregano, 1 tsp. dried parsley, 1 bay leaf.
1. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large pot. Add onion, carrots and garlic. Cook for 5-7 minutes, until onion is browned and translucent. 2. Pour in beer and scrape up the brown bits. Add in beans and cook for 5 minutes, stirring regularly. 3. Pour in broth and add the spices. Stir and bring to boil, then turn down to simmer. Clamp on a lid and cook for 1 hour on low, stirring occasionally. 4. Cool slightly, then blend with immersion blender or in batches using a standard blender. Do not puree. Blend until mostly smooth but some bits remain.
5. Warm up back in the pot, serve with fresh torn cilantro and lime (or any toppings you love: tortilla chips, sour cream, shredded cheese etc.) Tip: If you can't find a jalapeño beer, use what you love and drop a whole jalapeño into the soup with just it's tip cut off.