4 cloves garlic
1 medium onion
2 medium carrots
2 medium celery stalks
1 medium apple
2 (15-oz) cans black beans, no salt added
1 (14 -oz) can crushed tomatoes, no salt added
1 Tablespoon canola oil
2 Tablespoons chili powder
4 teaspoons ground cumin
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 (8 3/4-oz) can whole kernel corn or 1 cup thawed frozen corn
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Optional Ingredients: 1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1. Peel and mince garlic. Peel and chop onion.
2. Rinse carrots, celery, and apple. Peel and chop carrots. Chop celery and apple.
3. If using, rinse and mince cilantro.
4. Using a colander, rinse and drain black beans. In a medium bowl, add half the black beans, reserving the rest for later. Add tomatoes to the bowl. Mash together with a fork.
5. In a large pot over medium heat, heat oil. Add garlic, onion, carrots, and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add chili powder and cumin. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add chopped apple, mashed bean and tomato mixture, remaining beans, broth, and corn. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender, 10-15 minutes more. Stir in salt and pepper. If using, stir in cilantro now.
Leftover soup keeps for up to 3 days in the refrigerator or 1 month in the freezer. If you have a blender, use it to puree the tomatoes and beans in Step 4. This will give the soup a smoother feel.
More About Onions
How to Select
Choose onions that are firm and dry with bright, smooth outer skins.
How to Store
Before storage, onions should be dry, with papery skin and shriveled roots. Store whole onions in a cool, dark, well ventilated place for use within 4 weeks. Refrigerate cut onions in a tightly sealed container for use within 2-3 days. Discard, or trim and cook, any bruised onions. Long term: Braid and hang upside-down, store in bags with some holes for ventilation in cold, dry place at 32-40 degrees. Can last up to 8 months. Do not freeze.
How to Prepare
Rinse. Trim off ends. Remove dry, papery skin. Cut in half. Peel away thick outer layer. Chop or slice. Eat raw: Sweet and red onions are milder and can be added to salads and sandwiches. Eat cooked: Yellow and white onions are stronger and great for cooking. Saut, stir-fry, microwave, steam, boil, or braise. Add to soups, sauces, casseroles, dips, and vegetable, pasta, rice, and meat dishes.