Creamy Black Bean Soup

Black bean soup with cilantro

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion
4 large celery stalks
4 large carrots
1 small zucchini
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 tablespoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
2 15-oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups chicken broth
1 lime (optional)
Freshly chopped cilantro (optional)

1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Chop onion, celery, carrots, and zucchini and add to pot. Sauté until soft, about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Add garlic, cumin, red pepper, salt and pepper to vegetable mixture and stir. Sauté for another few minutes until all ingredients are combined.
3. Add black beans to pot and stir. Let the beans cook with the vegetables for about five minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and simmer for 30 minutes.
5. Using an immersion blender, blender, or food processor, blend the soup until it’s creamy and there are little to no lumps.
6. If using the lime and cilantro, cut lime into wedges and chop a handful of cilantro after removing stems. Serve each bowl of soup with a lime wedge and sprinkling of cilantro and enjoy!