I am newly addicted to this soup. Completely. I could eat it every single day. Did I say delish?? I'm about to make it a second time and think I'll make a simplified version for Logan soon. It also comes from The 150 Best Slow Cooker Recipes cookbook, where I've been getting all of my soup recipes lately. The recipe says to purée the soup, but I chose to purée about half of it and then stir in the other half without puréeing, which I quite liked. Loved. In fact, I'm drooling as I write this. Enjoy :)
6 slices bacon, chopped
2 onions, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, peeled and finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried thyme leaves
2 tbsp. cumin seeds
1 tbsp. dried oregano leaves
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cracked black peppercorns
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tbsp. tomato paste
6 C chicken stock
4 cans black beans, rinsed and drained, or 4 C dried black beans, cooked and drained
1/3 C freshly squeezed lime juice
finely chopped cilantro
sour cream (optional)
1. In a skillet, over medium-high heat, cook back until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper-towel-lined plate and drain thoroughly. Set aside.
2. Drain all but 1 tbsp. fat from pan. Reduce heat to medium. Add onions, celery and carrots and cook, stirring, until vegetables are softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic, thyme, cumin seeds, oregano, salt, pepper and cayenne and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add tomato paste and stir to combine thoroughly.
3. Transfer contents of pan to slow cooker stoneware. Add bacon, stock and beans and stir to combine.
4. Cover and cook on Low for 8 to 10 hours or on High for 4 to 6 hours.
5. Before serving, stir in lime juice. In blender or food processor, purée soup in batches. Spoon into individual soup bowls and garnish with cilantro and/or sour cream and salsa, if using.
Serves 4 to 6 as a main course or 6 to 8 as a starter (I find it made more)