Black Bean & Cilantro Soup with Croutons

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I can’t believe how fantastic this soup was, and on my first try! Tex-Mex food has been out of the question for the past few months because onions, garlic, and hot peppers are bad for reflux. This recipe uses over a cup of fresh herbs for flavor and brightness in place of those items. And it’s rave-worthy! I may quit my job and make a living selling jars of Paula’s Fabulous, Fat-Free Soup.

I included small amounts of cumin, onion powder, and roasted pepper here, but you can leave some of them out if they bother you. The herbs are the star in this dish.

I made croutons to top this soup instead of high-fat cheese or avocado. I had some beautiful Italian bread left over from my husband’s takeout, and it crisped up perfectly in the oven. Of course, a small sprinkle of sharp cheddar would be great, too, if you have some.

This recipe is a way to use up wilted herbs. My cilantro and parsley were damp and limp in their paper towels, but once they hit the soup, that didn’t matter. It feels great to utilize the stems, too, instead of shoving them down the garbage disposal.

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INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 15.5-oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup piquillo or roasted red peppers, rinsed well and drained
  • 1 cup cilantro (leaves and stems)
  • 1/2 cup parsley (leaves and stems)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup corn (fresh is preferable)
  • sea salt
  • extra cilantro (for garnish)
FOR THE CROUTONS:
  • 1 cup cubed stale bread per person (gluten free if desired)
  • cooking spray

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DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine all soup ingredients except corn and salt in a large pot (not nonstick). Bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. Drop heat to a simmer and cover for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Remove the pot from heat and discard the bay leaf. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup (carefully!). IMG_4502
  4. Add corn, cover, and return to a boil.
  5. Remove the lid, add salt to taste, and simmer for 10 to 15 for minutes, until soup reaches your desired consistency.
  6. To make croutons, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the bread into cubes and spread on a baking sheet. Spray the cubers well with cooking spray. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden brown and crispy.

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Serves 3 to 4. Adapted from Dropping Acid: The Reflux Diet & Cure

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