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When is the last time that you examined your perspective?  Your perspective is likely the most important thing you’ve got. It can influence how you feel, how you treat yourself and others, and what type of effect you have on the world.

Just this week my horoscope chastised me: “Just because the world is a stage doesn’t mean you need to play the part of a drama queen. Situations that shift or alter should not cause any major problem unless you over-dramatize a situation.” I’d say that’s an invitation for self-reflection.

If you want to maintain perspective while partying this holiday season, make sure you offer those you love a dish that’s festive, healthy and tasty. This Mexican Black Bean Soup should fit the bill and is a party in a bowl. Just remember to get the party started early by soaking the beans the night before.

Mexican Black Bean Soup with Garnishes Galore

Mexican Black Bean Soup with Garnishes Galore

  • 2 lbs black turtle beans, soaked overnight in a large covered pot filled above the beans with boiled water
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 3 large onions, chopped
  • 4 carrots, grated
  • 2 green peppers, finely chopped
  • 8 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 chile peppers, minced
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 3 t dry mustard
  • 2 t ground cumin
  • 1 t sugar
  • 1 28 oz can tomatoes
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • soup stock (optional)

Strain and rinse the beans after soaking them overnight. In a large pot add fresh water (or soup stock) to come 3 inches over the beans and cook them at a simmer, for about an hour, until they’re tender. Let the beans cool, then purée them.

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat and add the onions, carrots and peppers, stirring for a few minutes.

Add the garlic, chiles, spices and seasonings, cover and cook about 20 minutes on low heat until everything is tender but not browned. Add the tomatoes, stir, cover, then cook another 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaves.

Purée the vegetables and add them to the beans. The purée will be very think. Add water or soup stock, slowly, to thin the heated soup to a consistency that pours. Add a little more salt and pepper to taste. Freezes well.

Serve Mexican Black Bean Soup with some or all of these Garnishes Galore, finely chopped. Serves many, many hungry, happy mouths, roughly 20.

Garnishes Galore

  • fresh chile peppers, or hot sauce
  • fresh coriander
  • sweet onion or scallions
  • cucumber
  • avocado
  • red pepper
  • ripe tomato
  • plain Greek yogurt
  • limes, quartered
  • taco chips, on the side

Mexican Black Bean Soup with Garnishes Galore Print Ready Recipe

Mexican Black Bean Soup with Garnishes Galore

Final notes:

  • Leave it to my super-chef sister, Julia Richardson, to create this wonderful recipe for all of us to enjoy. Thanks, sis, for teaching me not to be a drama queen when it comes to recipes with oh so many ingredients. Perspective, right?
  • Did you notice the red and green seasonally appropriate garnish?
  • have you heard about the 13 Most Overcooked Food Trends of 2013?
  • Happy holidays!

Mexican Black Bean Soup with Garnishes Galore