I love Panera Bread. It is a delicious restaurant near my home. Since I've been on a diet, I usually order Black Bean Soup because it's low-cal, tasty and the fiber keeps me full through the afternoon. I realized this morning that I could use black beans from my food storage and make my own "Panera-like" soup and looked for a recipe online. Sure enough, I found one! FYI: Generally dried beans expand between 2 - 2 1/2 times when cooked. A 15-ounce can is about 1 2/3 cups of beans. Just cook 1 cup of dried and measure out 1 2/3 cups. You will have a little extra.
Black Bean Soup
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 celery ribs, finely chopped
1/4 large red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 small chicken bouillon cubes
1 -1 1/2 cup boiling water
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, undrained (or approximately 1 2/3 c cooked black beans)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 lemon, juice of
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
In a pot, combine the first six ingredients; simmer for 10 minutes. Add half a can of beans, salt and cumin; cook for 5 minutes. Puree soup (I use an immersion blender which makes it easy to do it right in the pot).
Add the rest of the beans to the soup. Combine the cornstarch with 1 1/2 tablespoons of water. Add the lemon and the cornstarch to the soup; cook until thickened.