Sometimes -- most times -- I really love my well-stocked pantry. With snow swirling outside and shoveling to be done (how quickly the glow of our warm-weather vacation wore off), I reviewed what I had in the cupboard and refrigerator while I cleared a ragged just-wide-enough path to the driveway. Back in the kitchen, I sat my favorite red Dutch oven on the stovetop, and collected ingredients for this black bean, tomato and sausage soup. Absolutely everything in this recipe comes straight from the pantry, and the soup comes together in minutes if you start with canned black beans. The whole, more than the sum of its parts, restored my energy and soothed my tired muscles. Make the soup mild or spicy, depending on how much snow you have to shovel.
Black bean, tomato and sausage soup
1/2 tsp vegetable oil (or rice bran, canola or other neutral oil)
1 small onion, chopped
6 oz beef hot links (or other smoked sausage), diced
28-oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 tsp Mexican oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 cup canned chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup salsa (I love Newman's Own peach salsa)
2 cups chicken broth (low sodium storebought, or homemade), or water
1/2 tsp green Tabasco or other hot sauce, to taste
In a Dutch oven or stockpot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sausage, and cook, stirring frequently, until the sausage is just beginning to brown, 3-4 minutes.
Add all of the remaining ingredients, and stir gently. Raise the heat to high, and bring the soup to a boil. Then reduce the heat to simmer, and cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
Use a wooden spoon to mash some of the beans against the side of the pot. This will help thicken the soup. Continue to cook for 5 more minutes.
If you used homemade chicken broth, taste the soup and add salt and pepper as needed.
Serve hot. Or, cool completely, pack into airtight containers, and freeze.
More good things made with black beans:
Vegan black bean and sweet potato stew, from The Perfect Pantry
Smoky turkey, black bean and corn chili, from The Perfect Pantry
Pantry pasta with black beans, kale and spicy chicken sausage, from Eat, Live, Run
Feijoada, Brazilian black bean stew, from Simply Recipes
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