Creamy Black Bean Soup

I mentioned black bean soup in my last post, and had a few requests for the recipe! This is one of my absolute favorite soups. It’s simple, creamy, and has great flavor from the combo of cumin, cilantro, and lime.

Okay, enough talk, let’s dive in to the recipe!

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!

Orange Chicken

It has taken me a few tries perfect and way too long to share this recipe, but here it is in all of its orange-y, spicy, and simple glory.

A few notes about this recipe: the sauce part of the recipe would be great on tofu (hey, hey vegetarians!) and the chicken pairs well with rice and stir-fried vegetables.

Orange chicken

Orange Chicken

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large oranges
1 tablespoon honey
2 cloves minced garlic
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat a large skillet to medium high and add olive oil. Cook chicken in oil until just done, about ten minutes or until lightly browned. Set chicken aside on a paper towel-lined plate.
2. Peel two large strips of zest from the oranges with a vegetable peeler and use a grater to zest one of the oranges. Juice the oranges and combine the juice with the peeled zest, grated zest, honey, garlic, soy sauce, and broth in a medium-sized bowl. Whisk until fully combined and add to the skillet used to cook the chicken and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and stir frequently.
3. While sauce is simmering, combine the cornstarch with with one tablespoon cold water and mix until combined. Add to sauce and cook until mixture is thickened.
4. Add chicken to sauce and stir until the chicken is fully coated. Add crushed red pepper, salt, and pepper and enjoy!