Last month I selected several black bean soup recipes for our meal plan, and this was one of them. When I think of black beans I always think Tex-Mex because that is that capacity in which I am most familiar with them, but if that is what you are expecting from this soup you will receive a pleasant (I hope) surprise. This soup is far from that style of black bean. This is a more more woodsy, herbal, country cottage with a vegetable garden kind of soup.
I keep wanting to call this a vegetable soup because all of the colorful vegetables took up so much of the spotlight that I forget that there even was chicken in it. To me that means the chicken was superfluous and so next time I will leave it out, turning this into the vegetable soup it is at heart. I don't typically like vegetable soups but I think the black beans nestle in and fill it out so perfectly that I am tricked into giving this one a pass. Go ahead and take advantage the soup weather that has come upon us by setting a pot of something delicious to simmer on the stove.
Chicken, Corn, and Black Bean SoupIngredients
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium onions diced
1 green bell pepper ribs and seeds removed, diced
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
coarse salt and ground pepper
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken, chopped bite sized (optional, I'm leaving it out next time)
6 plum tomatoes diced
1/4 cup dry red wine (or Worchestershire Sauce, which is what I used)
1 package (10 ounces) frozen corn kernels
1 can (15 ounces) black beans drained and rinsed
shredded cheddar cheese to serve (optional, but man oh man was it good with it!)
Heat oil in a large heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, bell pepper, thyme, 1 1/2 tsps salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions begin to brown, 4 to 5 minutes.
Stir in tomato paste; add chicken and saute until it is no longer pink. Add the chopped tomatoes, wine, and 2 1/2 cups water (feel free to add more wine and less water). Cover and bring simmer, about 15 minutes.
Stir in corn and black beans, and continue to simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes. Serve on a chilly autumn day.