Cocoa-Infused Black Bean Soup

This quick, easy, vegan black bean soup gets an interesting twist with the addition of cocoa.

Serves 6 / Easy, healthy, and different. The cocoa adds an exotic note that melds sensually with black beans’ deep flavor and creamy texture.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 red onion, diced

3 bay leaves

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

2 stalks celery, diced

2 carrots, peeled and diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

1 cup no-salt-added tomato purée

2 low-sodium vegetable bouillon cubes

4 cups water

1 (25-ounce) can low-sodium black beans, rinsed and drained

2 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika (or hot paprika)

1 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat and add onion, bay leaves, and salt. Stir occasionally until onions are softened, 4–5 minutes. Add celery, carrots, and green pepper and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until all vegetables are softened, 7–8 minutes. Add tomato purée, bouillon cubes, and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes, or until vegetables are very tender.

2. Stir in beans, cocoa, pepper, and paprika and return to a simmer for about 5 minutes. Stir in cilantro and serve.

PER SERVING: 180 cal, 6g fat (4g mono, 0g poly, 1g sat), 0mg chol, 7g protein, 27g carb, 8g fiber, 383mg sodium

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