Creamy Black Bean Soup

Ingredients

1 16 oz. bag of dried black beans (about 2 cups)

1 yellow or white onion, chopped (about 2 cups)

2 large carrots, finely chopped (about ¾ cup)

4 cloves garlic, minced

4-6 cups vegetable stock (start with 4 and add more, if soup becomes too thick)

1/8-1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp. ground cloves

2 bay leaves

1 tsp. sea salt

1 TB. fresh thyme, chopped

1 cup cilantro, chopped, divided

2 TB. apple cider vinegar

1 cup canned coconut milk

Juice of 1 lime

Zest of 1 lime

Instructions

Sort through dried beans and discard any foreign debris or broken beans. Pour dried beans into a bowl and cover with water by a couple inches. Soak beans for at least an hour or, better yet, overnight.

In a large crock pot, add onion, carrots, garlic, vegetable stock, cayenne, cinnamon, cloves and bay leaves. Stir, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat.

Drain and rinse beans well. Add beans to the crock pot and cook on high for about 6 hours or until beans are soft and creamy. Add more stock as necessary.

Once beans are cooked thoroughly, turn the slow cooker off. Remove bay leaves and add sea salt, thyme, 1/2 cup cilantro, and apple cider vinegar. Stir together. If desired, use an immersion blender (or blend in an upright blender in batches) until the soup is as chunky or creamy as you prefer. Add more stock to thin a too chunky soup.

To make the coconut lime crema, add coconut milk to a medium bowl. Pouring slowly, whisk in lime juice. Add zest and stir to mix.

Serve each bowl of soup with a few spoonfuls of crema and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro.