This delicious vegetarian black bean soup from Guatemala makes an easy starter. Use the Vitamix or blender for a smooth and creamy consistency. And, discover why Guatemalan food is so healthy!
Guatemalan food flies under the radar when it comes to notable cuisines, but it shouldn’t. Today we feature a delicious vegetarian black bean soup which shows off the best of Guatemalan soups. This slightly spicy black bean soup goes for a trip into the Vitamix or blender to deliver a creamy, smooth and healthy black bean soup recipe. It’s just perfect for those cold, winter months. If you are looking for healthy foods to make, this Guatemalan soup is a great choice.
We also take a peek at the Guatemalan diet. Many of you probably already eat many of the foods common to Guatemala without even realizing it. Guatemalan black beans are a highlight of diets throughout Central America. And, in a surprise, we discuss the strong connection between the basic foods of the once thriving Mayan culture and the Native American culture in North America. A surprise because of the totally differing growing conditions.
Read on to find out more.
Delicious Black Bean Soup Thanks to The Three Sisters
In another of those amazing “co-incidences”, the Mayan diet centers around corn, squash and beans. And guess what? They were the same 3 foods known as “the three sisters” upon which formed the cornerstone of the Native American diet, prior to the arrival of European/British settlement.
Now just think about this for a moment. Guatemala’s climate is tropical with coastal lowlands, as well as mountainous tracts of land in the highlands. They are totally different conditions to those which North America experiences. And yet the basic diet was the same. Both cultures raised crops.
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The Mayans in Guatemala
Of course, the old Mayan culture was extremely powerful. Transportation and communication were well organized, primarily to maintain control over the populace. Given the totally different climates between North America and Central America, there is little doubt there was contact between these cultures and “the three sisters” basically prove it.
The Mayans controlled most of Central America. Indeed, when the Spanish finally conquered the Mayans, they were smart enough to realize that Antigua was the epicenter of the Mayan culture. Antigua remained the capital of “Central America”. “Central America” pre-dated all the current countries making up that region.
That’s the end of the history lesson, but the point is that the Mayans were brilliant in their ability to raise crops of corn, squash and beans in a difficult climate and a tough terrain. The Mayan culture may now be gone but we owe them a great debt of gratitude for what they have given the world in terms of food.
Today in Guatemala “the three sisters” are still prevalent. Think Guatemalan black beans, refried beans, corn-based tortillas (so much tastier than wheat; and gluten-free I might add), numerous varieties of corn, and of course all the different varieties of squash. Guatemalans now supplement these cornerstone ingredients with eggs, tomatoes, chicken, onions, peppers, limes and various herbs such as cilantro. Guatemalans therefore have a great selection of healthy foods to make. You can read more about Guatemalan food here from USA Today.
So, as you would expect, mildly spicy black bean soup is very common throughout Central America. I suppose this is not really a surprise when you consider how inexpensive and healthy these ingredients are. Read on for the recipe for this delicious black bean soup.
Delicious Black Bean Soup Using a Vitamix or Blender
Note that I have elected to blend the cooked soup using a Vitamix or other blender. This delivers a smooth and rather creamy soup. However, it is not mandatory to do so. It’s just as good in its pre-blended state. But Guatemalan restaurants usually serve it in restaurants as creme of black bean soup. And it depends on whether you want a creamy consistency or a more rustic version.
If you enjoy black bean tortilla soup, then you might want to add the tortilla chips in the garnish. It does add a crispy element to this slightly, spicy black bean soup.
The other garnishes give a big lift to the soup, especially the cilantro (coriander) and the lime. They are key to this dish. This soup also goes well with blue corn tortillas. They’re easy to make and they’re gluten free.
For a vegetarian black bean soup, we are using a vegetable stock as the base. But, chicken stock also works for this black bean soup recipe.
I like to cook black beans soup from scratch. Cooking black beans is no trouble. Just soak the black beans overnight and pre-cook them before you attempt to make the soup.
Yes, it means being organized, but honestly it takes 30 seconds of effort to soak raw black beans and another 30 seconds to put the soaked beans on to cook. And you will get 5 times as much product versus buying in a can. However, canned beans also work, if that is your preference.
I have also linked to another very good black bean soup recipe, we created last year. This one is un-blended, for a different option and texture.
Fancy some other, winter warming soups apart from this healthy black bean soup recipe? You might also like to try the following:
If a slightly, spicy black bean soup is a signature dish in Central America, then Tom Yum Soup is the signature dish of Thailand. Another popular, South East Asian soup is Beef Noodle Pho from Vietnam.
A winter favorite is Butternut Squash Soup. Popular, all over the world, we serve this soup with quinoa.
And, two choices from Turkey. Easy, Red Lentil Soup might be simple but it is a real favorite in our household. Yogurt Soup, yes yogurt, is served in restaurants all over Turkey. It’s easy and healthy. Give it a try!