Mud puddles, computer tantrums, and an irritating left eye – because of these things, my day did not turn out as planned. My gardener found, not one, but five broken irrigation lines in my front yard. As soon as we repaired one and the water pressure returned, another bubbling puddle would form somewhere else. Little did my gardener know that under the soil in this particular flower bed lay a complicated network of irrigation tubing that only my husband, the “Mad Scientist” of irrigation, could create. While I was outside with the gardener, my left eye started to ache. “Aargh,” I moaned. Having an unusual eye condition, I went inside the house to put eye drops in to soothe my cranky eye. Leaving the gardener outside to play in the mud and with one eye shut, I decided to work on a computer project. Alerts and message windows popped up constantly – my computer did not want to cooperate with the printer. “What now?” I asked it. “Can’t we all just get along?”
To make a long story short, my day fell apart and by dinnertime I was in no mood to cook. I remembered this quick and easy recipe for black bean soup and whipped it up in about 15 minutes. Toppings of cilantro, green onions, cheese, and sour cream added fresh flavors to the soup. And a chunk of fresh artisan bread and a hearty green salad rounded out the meal. Although my day fell apart, the evening began with a great dinner.
Instant Black Bean Soup
Recipe from Cooking Light
2 (15-ounce) cans no-salt added black beans, undrained
1/2 cup bottled salsa
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 (16-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup (2-ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
5 tablespoons low-fat sour cream
5 tablespoons minced green onion
2½ tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
1. Place beans and liquid in a medium saucepan; partially mash beans with a potato masher.
2. Place over high heat; stir in salsa, chili powder, and broth. Bring to a boil.
3. Ladle soup into bowls; top with cheese, sour cream, onions, and cilantro.
Yields 5 servings
1. I didn’t have any cans of no-salt-added black beans, so I used regular cans of black beans. Because of this, no added salt was needed.
2. The toppings really add to the flavor of the soup, so don’t omit them. I only had shredded Monterey Jack cheese at home, but it worked out well.