My favorite time of year has arrived. The season of soup and bread, cozy blankets and bright colors. The season of boots, scarves, hats and puffy vests (you can never have too many puffy vests). The season of zombie shows, brisk walks and pumpkin spice lattes. The season of holidays, family memories, harvest festivals and warm spices. Yes, it’s fall and to celebrate this wonderful time of year I made an extra large batch of black bean sweet potato soup with a stack of warm, doughy bread on the side. Feeling warm and fuzzy yet? How about you go grab a blanket, pop on your favorite new fall show and curl up with a big bowl. I’ll bring the soup! Oh yeah, and Go Hawks!
The gourds and winter squash haven’t hit the shelves at my local grocery store yet so I went with an old classic vegetarian soup that is very easy to make and packed full of legume powered protein. This is a “throw it all in one pot and walk away” kind of recipe so…you’re welcome. You can go on that run you’ve been meaning to go on for like…ever. You can binge watch half a season of Parenthood (ME), reorganize your cupboards, paint an accent wall and watch it dry, or write those overdue thank you cards in the time it takes for this soup to just sit there and simmer. That’s my kind of soup!
This black bean sweet potato soup recipe gives you an opportunity to do something you probably never thought was possible. Believe it or not, but beans don’t only come in canned form. WHAT?! With just good ol’ H2O you can transform a dried black bean into the kind you would find in a can. I love this because you can fill your bulk bags to the brim with dried legumes and not only save money, but also waste! This is what makes me happiest. Simply cover your dried black beans with 1 inch of water and let them soak overnight. Then they’re ready for you to cook your heart out! And clearly you’re gonna make soup.
I love a soup that begs for a handful of toppings. I also love a dish that I can add chips too. BONUS! This Mexican inspired soup can be topped with similar things you’d throw onto a taco. Sour cream, avocado, cheese, salsa, cilantro…you name it and it’s good to go on top of this soup.
I mentioned earlier that I made a huge batch of this soup. Chet and I did as much damage as we could, but after two days of black bean sweet potato soup soup for lunch and dinner, it was time to put the rest in the freezer. This is yet another bonus of soup. You can easily freeze the leftovers for later cold night soup cravings. I recommend freezing the leftovers in small, portion sized batches so you don’t need to defrost the whole thing , but only use a few cups.
What to Bring to the Store
In order to reduce your packaging waste, bring the following reusables with you to the store:
- 1-2 reusable produce bags
- 1 reusable bulk bag for the dried beans
- reusable bulk spice bags for any spices you don’t have on hand
And don’t forget your reusable shopping bags!
Waste Meter – 5!
This recipe gets a well deserved five out of five on the waste meter because nothing goes in the garbage. Nothing! Here’s what to do:
Recycle: Chicken Broth Carton
Compost: All Veggie Scraps
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 jalapeno, seeds removed, diced
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 2 red bell peppers, chopped
- 1 lb. dried black beans, soaked and rinsed
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, skin removed, cut into 1" cubes
- 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp salt (more to taste)
- Sour Cream
- Tortilla Strips
- Lime Wedges (squeezed)
- Queso Fresco
- In a large bowl cover the dried black beans with 1 inch of water. Let them soak overnight. Rinse and drain.
- In a large soup pot, add the garlic, onion, jalapeno, bell pepper, black beans, sweet potato, chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
- Add the chili powder, cumin and salt. Stir, then cook an additional 30 minutes.
- In batches using a blender, lightly pulse the soup, leaving it slightly chunky.
- Top with your favorite fixin's and serve hot.