Chorizo black bean soup

The first time I ate chorizo, I was staying with a host family in a tiny town in Spain. Every night after work (and before they ate dinner at about 10:30 PM), they put out bread, manchego (and other similar cheeses) and chorizo. I instantly fell in love with the salty, spicy cured sausage and was really bummed to discover how hard it was to find at home. I wanted to make paella for my family the way I learned how to in Spain, but all I could find was Mexican chorizo, which isn’t the same at all. Although I was not a fan of it at first, I came to love it even more than the Spanish variety.

When I gave up meat a few months ago, I wanted to steer clear of imitation meat products (like soy nuggets and fake lunch meat), but when I saw Soy Chorizo at Trader Joe’s, I had to give it a try. I don’t plan on eating it often, but I LOVE the stuff, and it really does look and taste a lot like the real thing (but without a bunch of random pig parts). I recently bought a package to put in breakfast scrambles, but I wanted to use some in a real recipe. Black bean soup isn’t normally my favorite, but with chorizo, it takes on a whole new flavor that’s totally irresistible. I love how easy this is to put together, and with a salad it’s a nice, light meal.

Recipe:
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 lg onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
6 ounces Soy Chorizo (or regular…your call)
3 cups black beans, rinsed and drained (about 2 cans)
2-3 cups vegetable broth
lime wedges and fresh chopped cilantro, for serving

Heat the oil in a large, heavy saucepan over medium high heat. Add the onion, garlic, and bell pepper and saute until soft (about 4 minutes). Add the chorizo, salt, and cumin and cook, stirring, another 5-6 minutes.
Stir in the beans and 2 cups of broth and simmer for about 15 minutes. Using an immersion blender, pulse a few times (so it’s partly but not completely pureed). Salt to taste, and add more broth if you’d like your soup a little thinner.
Serve with lime wedges and fresh cilantro.

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