Every winter my office holds their annual Soup Off. A few people bring in crock pots of soup and all the employees taste and judge. Last year I won the coveted “Golden Ladle Award” (a cheesy spray painted award that the winner gets to keep in his/her office for the year) with this spicy black bean soup. I saw the recipe on Dave Lieberman’s show “Good Deal with Dave Lieberman” and made a few tweaks. Enjoy!
10 Slices Bacon, finely chopped
2 Medium Onions, chopped (about 2 1/2 cups)
6 Garlic Cloves, pressed
1 (14 1/2-ounce) Can Reduced-Sodium Chicken Broth
1 1/2C Canned Chopped Tomatoes
2t Worcestershire sauce
1T Chili Powder
1t Ground Cumin
4 (15 1/2-ounce) Cans Black Beans, drained but not rinsed
Kosher salt and Freshly ground black pepper
1 Bunch Cilantro
Juice of 1 lime
2C Small Pasta of your choice (I like elbows)
Scallions, Cheddar Cheese and/or Sour Cream for garnish
Put the bacon into a large heavy pot and place it over medium heat. Cook until it starts to give up its fat, about 4 minutes.
Stir in the onions and cook, stirring, until they start to turn translucent, about 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until you can smell it, about 1 minute.
Add the broth, tomatoes, ketchup, Worcestershire, cumin and chili powder. Stir in the beans, turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Adjust the heat so the soup is bubbling gently and cook 10 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, pick off all the thick stems from the cilantro. Wash it and shake dry. Chop the cilantro coarsely and stir it into the soup when it has been simmering 10 minutes. Add pasta and cook until the soup is thickened, about 7 minutes (until the pasta is al dente).
Stir in the lime juice. Serve with the garnishes.