Friday, January 21, 2011

Hearty Black Bean Soup in a Gluten-Free Bread Bowl

So I live in Michigan, and it's cold most of the cold!  You get very used to eating things that warm you up, like soups and chili...but sometimes you just want something a little different for crying out loud!  Not that Black Bean Soup isn't soup...but it's not your typical vegetable soup...PLUS you get to eat it out of a bread bowl, so that's always fun!  Here's my simple, no fuss recipe for a Hearty Black Bean Soup that will warm you up...even on the coldest days!  Oh, and there are hidden veggies in it too, for extra vitamins!

In a large soup pot, over medium/high heat saute:

1/2 c. vegetable broth (make sure you get one that's really low in sodium...preferably organic.  Read the label, because you wouldn't believe what some companies put in their SUGAR and enough salt to bloat you for a month!)
1 large white onion, diced
1 large green pepper, diced
1/3 bag matchstick carrots, chopped

-Saute for 5-7 minutes, until peppers and onions are soft.

-Lower heat to medium/low and add:

1 c. vegetable broth
1 T. garlic powder
1 T. chili powder
1 t. cumin
1 package of low sodium taco seasoning
1 can of black beans
1 32 oz container of Imagine Bistro Cuban Black Bean Bisque

-Mix and let simmer, covered for at least 15-20 minutes (if the soup starts sticking to the bottom, you can lower the heat to low)...the longer you let your soup simmer, the more flavor it will have.

-Note:  you can also add corn and a can of diced tomatoes to this...or 1 c. of salsa...just depends on what you feel like having.  I kept mine pretty simple for the kids...didn't want it too spicy. 

-Another note:  if you're kids (or let's face it...some of us adults) are picky when it comes to veggies,  after everything is sauted, throw it in the blender or the food processor until it's no longer chunky then return it to the soup...I use this trick all the time when my kids decide they don't want to eat veggies!

The Bread Bowls:  (This recipe made 3 bread bowls)

1 package of the Pamela's brand Gluten Free Bread Mix
1 T. xanthum gum (this is a binding agent)  You'll more than likely have to go to a health food store to get it, although, if you shop at Meijer, I've seen it there!
3 T. of Bob's Red Mill egg replacer powder (not prepared)

-I followed the "egg free" bread recipe on the package, with the above additions...and I actually used 1/4 c. applesauce to replace the oil (I didn't have any oil on hand).

-I just mixed everything together really well (by hand, didn't use the recommended heavy duty mixer)...shaped the mix into 3 balls, and let the balls rest for about 1 hr.

-Bake at 350 for 40 mins (or more if you feel the center isn't quite done.  You want a nice hard crust the whole way around the bowl, so that the soup doesn't leak out!

-Once they're done, hollow out, and fill with the soup!  Top with tomatoes, diced jalapenos, guacamole, Tofutti Better than Sour Cream, cilantro, or whatever else you might like!  You can even eat with chips instead of a spoon!!  Very fun meal, very hearty, and very healthy!  Enjoy!!!

-Ps...I froze the rest of the soup for a later use...because it makes quite a bit!

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