Sort and wash beans; place in a large bowl. Cover with water to 2 inches above beans; cover and let stand 8 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse beans.
Cook bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving drippings in pan. Add onion, carrot, and celery to drippings in pan; sauté 10 minutes or until tender. Add garlic and jalapeño; sauté 2 minutes. Add beans, bacon, broth, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 1/2 hours or until beans are tender. Place 4 cups soup in a blender or food processor; let stand 5 minutes. Process until smooth; return pureed soup to pan. Stir in cilantro, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Serve with sour cream.
I ended up using 4 cans of black beans (drained and rinsed), which I already had in my pantry. Since others said it lacked "zip", when I chopped up the jalapeno, I included the seeds and ribs, which added the perfect amount of spice for my family. I also reduced the broth to 2 cups since I used canned beans.
Really good. Everyone loved it. I used a grilled piece of turkey kielbasa instead of bacon, and one 14oz can of diced tomatoes, and one 14oz can of fire-roasted tomatoes instead of the 28oz can of tomatoes.
This soup is good but, I agree, it lacks zip. I added a lot more cilantro and lime for flavor and that helped. Also, I didn't care for the consistency once pureed. It was so thick the following day that it was almost like bean dip, not soup. I added a several cups of water to thin it down, thus subtracting even more zip. I think this is a good start but definitely needs tinkering. If you're good at that, by all means try this but if you prefer to just follow the recipe, probably not the best black bean soup for you.
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