black bean soupThis recipe has always been a hit in our house. The vegan version, pictured here, can be adapted for those who eat dairy to include a dollop of sour cream, crumbled queso fresco, or shredded cheese of any kind. I’m not a big supporter of “hiding” vegetables in food (I believe that kids and adults should learn to love the flavour of vegetables in their own right), but this soup can be used that way because it is blended smooth.

Ingredients:
1 onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
8-10 mushrooms, sliced (button, cremini or mini bellas all work)
3-4 stalks celery, chopped
2 small zucchinis, quartered lengthwise then sliced
1/2 cup chopped spinach
2 cans of Eden black beans, drained and rinsed
2-3 cups of water or soup stock
1 tsp each cumin powder, paprika, and oregano
1/2 tsp coriander powder
salt and pepper to taste
juice from 1 lime
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
garnish: sliced avocado, queso fresco or grated cheese, sour cream, chopped cilantro

Directions:
In a sauce pan or soup pot, sauté onions over medium heat until they become translucent. Add garlic and mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently for another 3 minutes. Add celery and zucchini, and cook another 5 minutes. Add spinach, black beans, and enough water or soup stock to completely cover the vegetables in the pot. Add spices and stir well. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in lime juice and chopped cilantro. Remove from heat and blend in a food processor or blender until completely smooth. Add more water as necessary to achieve desired consistency. Serve, topped with sliced avocado, more chopped cilantro, sour cream and/or cheese. Enjoy!