Used to be, you'd stop at the deli counter to get the makings for a sandwich to accompany your soup; now, you can pick up the makings of the soup itself. Thin-sliced corned beef--or ham or pastrami, for that matter--makes for tender meaty morsels in a soup and needs no cooking time at all.
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 cups water
3 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
2 cups drained and rinsed canned black beans (one 19-ounce can)
1 jalapeño pepper, seeds and ribs removed, minced
1/2 pound sliced deli corned beef, cut crosswise into thin strips
1 1/2 tablespoons red- or white-wine vinegar
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
How to Make It
In a large pot, heat the oil over moderate heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, bell pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables start to soften, about 10 minutes.
Add the water, broth, and the remaining teaspoon of salt to the pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir the beans and jalapeño into the soup and simmer for 5 minutes more.
Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the corned beef, vinegar, and parsley.
Make Ahead: If you make the soup ahead of time, wait to stir in the last three ingredients until you're ready to serve. Otherwise, the flavor of the corned beef will leach out into the broth, the vinegar will lose its bite, and the parsley will turn brown.
Wine Recommendation: This hearty soup calls for an equally hearty wine. Look for Australia's unique cabernet sauvignon/shiraz blend, a red wine redolent of blackberries, cassis, herbs, and eucalyptus. Its full body and frank fruitiness are just what you want.