What’s for dinner? Black bean and salsa soup.

One of my new favorite, easy-to-make dinners for the family is a hearty black bean & salsa soup and fresh-baked bread. The soup, which you can do on either the stovetop for faster prep time or (my preferred method) in a slow cooker, goes like this:

1 (15 oz) can of black beans, 1 (15 oz) can of kidney beans, 1½ cups of vegetable broth, 1 cup of chunky salsa, ½ can of re-fried beans, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp minced garlic, 1 cup of diced cooked chicken. Heat that on the stove top until hot or slow cook on high setting for 2-3 hours.

The original recipe called for nothing but black beans and didn’t have the garlic or re-fried beans. We put in the garlic for the taste and the beans to help thicken the consistency. It also says to actually blend the broth, beans, salsa and cumin until smooth before heating. We prefer it unblended but that’s a matter for your taste!

Either way, there’s nothing like fresh-baked bread to go with it and one of the best, simplest bread mixes I’ve used is this one by Dassant. It’s a beer bread but we’ve also used a soda to make the mix (a pumpkin one, believe it or not) and a Woodchuck hard cider produced a delicious loaf! Simply combining the mix with the beer or whatever and mixing until the dry ingredient is wet is all it takes. Into the oven for 50-55 minutes and then you’re set!