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Easy Black Bean Soup in Cumin-Dusted Bread Bowls
3 min. for bowls / 7 min. for soup
12-14 min. for bowls (plus cooling) / 20 min. for soup
For Each Bread Bowl (we typically make four bowls for the amount of soup this recipe yields)
- 1 Flatout flatbread (we recommend Multi Grain with Flax, Soft 100% Whole Wheat or Light Original)
- All-natural cooking spray or sprayed canola oil
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
For the Black Bean Soup
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 cup chopped sweet onion (about 1/2 a large onion)
- 1 3-ounce cajun- or cuban-style chicken or turkey sausage link (cut into about 18 slices and then cut into quarters, to yield about 1/2 cup)
- 1/3 cup finely chopped green pepper
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 14.5-ounce can vegetable broth (+ an optional second can, see note)
- 4 15-ounce cans black beans (preferably organic or reduced-sodium), rinsed and drained
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Optional toppings for serving: reduced-fat sour cream, reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese, thinly sliced green onions, and finely diced tomatoes
For the Bread Bowls:
- Preheat oven to 375ºF.
- Lay one Flatout flatbread on work surface and spray with cooking spray or oil. Sprinkle evenly with ¼ teaspoon cumin and ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt, using your fingers to spread the salt and cumin in an even layer, if needed.
- With the sprayed/spiced side facing out, gently place the flatbread into a high-sided oven-safe bowl, about 7 inches across.
- Repeat process to make additional bread bowls.
- Place bowl(s) in the preheated oven. (You can put them on a cookie sheet before placing them in the oven, if needed for stability.)
- Bake bowls for 12-14 minutes, rotating once, until the edges are lightly browned.
- Remove the bowls from the oven to cool, pushing the sides back into place if they've slumped or fallen during baking. Although they're still somewhat flexible and soft right out of the oven, the bowls will harden and get crispier as they cool. Cool completely for crispiest bowls.
For the Black Bean Soup:
- In a large soup pot (I adore my blue dutch oven), heat oil over medium heat, swirling to coat. Add onions, sausage, green pepper, garlic, and bay leaf, and cook until onions are translucent (about 5 minutes), stirring occasionally so garlic doesn't burn.
- Add 1 can of broth, stirring to deglaze pan and loosen any browned bits. Then add black beans, tomato paste, 1 teaspoon salt, oregano, ½ teaspoon cumin, and black pepper. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring two or three times.
- Serve soup in cooled bread bowls, garnished as desired with toppings such as reduced-fat sour cream, shredded cheese, green onions, and tomatoes.
Optional Second Can of Vegetable Broth + Make-Ahead Tips: We love this soup really thick and hearty. However, if you prefer to cook your soup longer so the beans break down more, or if you need to simmer yours longer before your family is ready for dinner, you may prefer to add just a bit of additional broth to thin the soup to your desired consistency. Also, this soup will continue to thicken as it sits. It refrigerates and freezes well, so it's a great make-ahead, but when you reheat it, you may also find that you'd like to add a bit of broth at that time. That's why we recommend purchasing an optional second can of broth, but that's entirely optional and probably not necessary if the soup will all be eaten immediately after cooking.