Growing up as a native Floridian, Spanish cuisine has always had an influence on my culinary skills. I love the depth of flavor and kicks of spice that Spanish cuisine offers. Some of the first creations I made in the kitchen as a child had latin roots, so this genre of food is no stranger to the Nat. I made this pungent black bean soup on a whim because I was craving something hearty, spicy and protein packed. It was flavorful, spicy and just plain delicious. I had to indulge in three helpings of this one – I couldn’t get enough!


Soup ingredients:

  • 6 cans black beans, with brine
  • 2 containers vegetable broth
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 3 small tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 4 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
  • zest of 1 lime

Cilantro-lime red rice:

  • 1 package red rice
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • zest of 1 lime
  • juice of 2 limes
  • handful chopped cilantro

Roasted chili corn topping ingredients:

  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 2 tbsp grapeseed oil
  • sprinkle salt
  • sprinkle garlic powder
  • sprinkle ground cumin
  • sprinkle cayenne pepper
  • sprinkle paprika

“Fresh” toppings ingredients:

  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 1 large bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 2 avocados, cubed
  • 2 limes, wedged

Soup directions: In a large pot, heat the oil and brown the onions, then the garlic, tomatoes, and peppers over medium high heat. Add the spices and herbs and mix evenly. Once the veggies have reached a softer texture, add the vegetable broth and let this simmer for about 20 minutes on medium heat. Next, add in the black beans (with the brine) and stir the soup concoction. Allow everything to simmer on a lower heat setting for at least an hour. The longer the beans cook, the better they taste! Before serving, add the zest of 1 lime and juice into the pot of soup. Stir to distribute evenly.

Cilantro-lime red rice: In a medium size pot – add water, salt, coconut oil, lime zest, lime juice, cilantro , and red rice. Bring this mixture to a boil and follow the cooking directions on the package.

Roasted chili corn directions: Preheat your oven to 400°F. On a foil-wrapped baking sheet, coat with coconut oil, then evenly spread the corn out. Sprinkle the salt and spices over the corn and bake for 10 minutes. Remove and shovel the corn around to coat the kernels with the oil and seasonings. Return to cook in the oven for another 10 – 15 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Once all of the soup variable have been prepared, serve immediately! Start by ladling the black beans into a larger soup bowl, top with a few spoonfuls of the cilantro-lime rice, roasted chili corn, and the “fresh” toppings. Savor this warm, filling soup and enjoy the crunch from the crisp toppings. Sometimes I even crumble up blue corn tortilla chips on top of the soup for an added crunch.