Panera-style Black Bean Soup

I used to work at a mall with a St. Louis Bread Company (what Panera is called in St. Louis...) and the employees there knew my order, because like clockwork I would be in the same time, the same days a week, ordering the same cup of black bean soup and a sourdough roll.

When I no longer worked at that mall, there was a small cold void in my insides, that couldn't be filled with anything but that black bean soup- so after some trial and error I devised my own recipe that is pretty darn similar to Panera's.  Enjoy! :)
  • 2 cans black beans ~15oz ea
  • 1 roasted red pepper (I use canned)
  • 1-2 carrots (chopped)
  • 1-2 stalks celery (chopped)
  • 1/2 medium onion (chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder, or fresh garlic
  • 2-3 cups chicken or vegetable stock (start with 2, add more if you want it thinner)
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Olive oil ~ 1 Tbs
  • Green onions (optional)
  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot, and add onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and roasted red pepper.
  2. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until onion is soft, then add chicken stock, cumin, chili powder, and garlic powder (if you didn’t add fresh garlic).
  3. Add one can of black beans (drained) and simmer until vegetables are soft.
  4. Then take off the heat for a few minutes, and carefully blend. (I use a blender, but a hand mixer will do the job).
  5. Pour mixture back into pot and add the second can of black beans (You can add a third if you like it extra bean-y)
  6. Let simmer a little longer, and then serve. I like to garnish it with green onion.
  7. It is excellent as soup with crusty bread, or served over white rice with chicken.

  • Grate your carrots and omit celery to cut the cooking time- this soup can be thrown together in practically 15 minutes
  • Spice it up with additional jalapeños, a dash of cayenne, or chipotle chili powder

Yields 4-6 servings

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