I’ve always been a big fan of Black Bean Soup. It was one of my favorite dishes when I worked at Union Square Cafe. I also love the one they make at Canteen 900 in Kingston. I recently had an amazing bowl of spicy black bean soup at the Sun Dog in Neptune Beach, Florida. (Guy Fieri filmed there!)

When I want to make a nice bowl of hot and spicy black bean soup myself, I have a go-to recipe that I got from the Sonoma Diet Daily email. I had to post this because I make it all the time and I just love it! It’s also very low in fat and calories. I usually don’t add the sherry vinegar. I top with a dollop of reduced fat sour cream mixed with a drizzle of lime juice to make it more creamy.

Sonoma Diet Daily Recipe: Tangy Black Bean Soup

(Serves 6)

PREP: 35 minutes COOK: 25 minutes

1/2 cup chopped onion
12 cloves garlic, minced (2 tablespoons minced)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
8 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
3 15- to 16-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 lemon, sliced 1/2 inch thick
1/2 cup snipped dried tomatoes (not oil-packed)
1 small fresh jalapeño chile pepper, seeded and finely chopped* (optional)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1 1/2 teaspoons sherry vinegar or balsamic vinegar

1. In a 4-quart Dutch oven, cook onion and garlic in hot oil over medium heat until tender, stirring occasionally. Add cumin; cook and stir for 1 minute more. Add broth, beans, lemon slices, tomatoes, jalapeño (if desired), and dried oregano (if using instead of fresh oregano). Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Discard lemon slices. Remove 3 cups of the soup mixture to a large heatproof bowl. Use an immersion blender or potato masher to coarsely puree or mash the mixture in the bowl. Return to Dutch oven and bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes more, stirring occasionally.

3. Stir in vinegar and fresh oregano (if using).

*Note: Because hot chile peppers contain oils that can burn your skin and eyes, wear rubber or plastic gloves when working with them. If your bare hands do touch the chile peppers, wash your hands well with soap and water.

To freeze soup: Divide soup among freezer containers with covers; seal, label, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before heating through.

Nutrition Facts per serving: 223 cal., 5 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 0 mg chol., 1,381 mg sodium, 37 g carbo., 12 g fiber, 17 g pro.