1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 teaspoon oregano (if using fresh herbs, triple the amount: 1/2 t dried = 1 1/2 t fresh)
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon cumin
pinch red pepper flakes
2 cans chicken broth
2 cans black beans, drained (we added a third can of beans at the very end – whole beans)
salt and pepper to taste
In a soup pot, heat oil over medium-high heat and add onion, garlic, and bell pepper. Cook until pepper is wilted and onion is translucent. Do not let garlic brown. Add spices and chicken broth; bring to a boil.
Add 2 cans beans, bring back to a boil. Salt and pepper to taste.
In a blender, puree halt the soup (in batches). Add puree back to soup, reheat (this is where you can add the optional third can of drained beans) and serve.
We served this with a cilantro and sour cream topping that took this Basic Black Bean soup to the next level. Heavenly!