Now that its officially Fall, I think the weather has made up its mind and brought the chill for good. Wish I would have gotten that memo when I decided to wear a dress today with sandals sans tights. Brr! Hopefully it will warm up a teensy bit by lunch time. But now that the weather is finally requiring those fashionable neck scarves and sexy blazers, I thought I would dust off the old crock pot for some good, hearty, and steaming hot soup. Without much time to shop, I pretty much just decided to clear out the pantry and make a soup of whatever I had on hand.
Those are my favorite!
I decided to make a black bean soup with rustic chunks of carrots and turkey bacon for some smoky flavors.
1 lb turkey bacon (cut into bite size pieces)
1 medium red onion (chopped)
2 carrots (peeled and rough chopped)
1lb dry black beans (rinsed)
5 cups of water
1 T salt (more or less according to your preference)
I started by cooking up the turkey bacon to get it crisp. ( I would later learn this was a dumb move on my part. Next time I will be mincing the bacon and then cooking it before adding it to the soup, or just adding it after- but it adds such a delightful smokiness to the soup that I dont want to omit it.)
When it was browned and crisped to my liking, I added it to my 6 qt slow cooker- drippings and all. YUM! (you say FAT, i say FLAVOR)
To the crockpot, i added the carrots,
The very fragrant red onions,
the beans, and all the water. I covered it and let it cook on high for 4 hours (or on low for 8). I checked in on it every so often to make sure it was seasoned to my liking. Thats when i added the salt. Personally, i like salt so if you like a milder soup, you might not even need the salt at all!
My roommate and I could not wait to dig into this hearty and comforting soup! We noticed that the turkey bacon turned black cooking with the beans for so long- the flavor was great but black bacon is not that attractive. By itself, the soup is great but to really make it amazing add this garnish:
1/2 small red onion (finely chopped)
1 bunch of fresh cilantro (cleaned and roughly chopped)
Non Fat Plain Greek Yogurt
We sprinkled the garnish liberally on the soup. The cold freshly chopped onions gave it a fresh burst of flavor and the addition of cilantro really tied this all together. Such an easy meal to put together on a lazy sunday!