Black bean and salsa soup (4 servings)

Today's recipe is one of my mother-in-law's favorite recipes from Allrecipes.com, and it happens to fit well with this month's focus on vegan food! It's so easy; the only "cooking" involves a food processor and a quick reheat on the stovetop. To me, that doesn't even count as cooking, so I'm classifying it as a no-cook recipe. Like all black bean soups, it doesn't look particularly appetizing, so I didn't bother taking a picture, but it's amazingly simple, quite filling, and deliciously healthful.

You will need:
  • 2 15-oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 - 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup chunky salsa of your choosing
  • 1 tsp cumin

Steps:
  1. Add all ingredients to the bowl of a food processor, starting with just 1 cup of broth. Process until the mixture is relatively smooth. Add more broth if you want a thinner soup.
  2. Pour the soup into a medium saucepan; warm over medium heat with the lid on. (I think it took about 10 minutes.)
  3. Serve with your favorite toppings: sliced green onions, chopped tomatoes, diced avocado, etc. (or cheese and sour cream if you don't want it to be vegan)

There's so much room to play around with this recipe. I used Frontera Chipotle Pumpkin salsa from Whole Foods (definitely get your hands on some if you have the chance) instead of traditional tomatoes-and-bell-peppers salsa. It's really the salsa that flavors this soup, so I'd imagine that changing the salsa totally transforms the dish! I didn't have any of the colorful toppings I suggested, but I'd love to try those out next time. I also might experiment with a fancy Mexican-style pesto -- maybe something like this. Really, the sky's the limit with this one. You could use different beans, throw in some cooked vegetables, or add some lime juice and hot sauce. This is a quick and easy recipe I'll definitely revisit in the future.