I was away from the house (where I usually work from home) all day yesterday, so I made a super simple black bean soup for dinner. I was honestly crossing my fingers that the little one would like it because, well, you just never know. Turned out that she loved it and ate two full bowls for dinner and requested it for breakfast this morning at 6:30 am. It wasn't anything special or complicated, but I think that's probably why she liked it so much. The texture was easy for her to eat since it was thick enough not to run off her spoon, she could see some beans and rice (girl likes to identify what's going into her mouth), and it was flavorful without being too spicy or spiced.
It's similar to this recipe, but since I got a few questions about it when I posted it on Instagram—and want to be able to reference it for myself!—I thought I'd share it here. I like to serve this kind of soup with Baked Tortilla Chips since I can control the amount of salt. Let them get a little brown and let cool completely on the baking sheet to ensure they are crispy (rather than tough).
The soup above is shown with the Honey Heroes Organic Cookies. They are made with whole grains and flax, they have a little protein, and they don't contain nuts (so they are good for school lunches).L is currently obsessed with them and likes to say that the ones with pigtails are her—especially since yesterday was superhero day at her school! (And yes, I have been asked to make her a cape with a big "L" on the front:)
Toddler-Friendly Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup
This recipe makes a lot, but it stores really well so you can enjoy it as leftovers the next day or put half into the freezer and pull it out when you need it. The addition of grains helps to thicken the soup to a nice consistency for little eaters, so don't be worried if it's pretty thin before you add them in before serving.
- 6 cups black beans (about 3-14.5 ounce cans), drained and rinsed if using canned
- 2 cups diced sweet potato
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes or 1-14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes with juices
- 1 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)
- 3 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 5 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 2 cups short grain rice, cooked
1. Set aside 1 cup beans. Add the remaining 5 cups to the slow cooker along with the sweet potato, tomatoes, onion, cumin, salt, chili powder, and stock. Cook on LOW for 7-8 hours.
2. Puree soup with an immersion blender or a regular blender, working carefully in batches. Stir in the reserved 1 cup beans and the rice. Let sit, covered, for at least 10 minutes before serving so the rice can thicken the soup.
3. Season to taste with additional salt if needed. Serve with salsa, cheese, and/or sour cream.
Use carrot instead of sweet potato.
Stir in quinoa or millet rather than rice.
Squeeze in a little fresh lime juice.