Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup

Original Recipe HERE

This soup was a hit with everyone in the house, and it couldn't be easier.  The original recommends working with dried black beans, but I couldn't find them at the commissary (there's always one thing that I can't get and sends me to the regular grocery store).  I used 2.5 15-oz cans of beans, and it wasn't enough - the soup was much too thin.  After immersion blending the soup, I added a can of chickpeas (since I was out of black beans) and blended again, which helped a bit.

This made an entire 6-quart slow cooker full of soup.  So we aren't eating it for lunch and dinner for three days straight, next time I'll cut the recipe in half.

We sprinkled some mexican cheese blend into the kids' bowls, because adding shredded cheese makes them more willing to try anything.  *N* also liked sour cream, though the creme fraiche we tried (per the original's suggestion) didn't do anything for anybody.

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 cups dried black beans, soaked overnight, rinsed & drained [or 3 to 4 15-oz cans of black beans, rinsed & drained]
1 32-oz container chicken broth or vegetable stock
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped [optional; I did not use]
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup water
shredded cheese [optional]
sour cream, plain yogurt, or creme fraiche [optional]

(1) Heat oil in sauté pan over medium heat.  Sauté onions for 4 minutes.
(2) Add chopped garlic.  Sauté one additional minute.
(3) Place onion-garlic mixture into slow cooker along with all other ingredients.  Stir to combine.
(4) Cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-5 hours.
(5) Remove bay leaves.  Using either hand blender or traditional blender, puree ingredients to desired texture.
(6) Top each serving with shredded cheese and dollop of yogurt, sour cream or crème fraiche.

Notes: None, other than using more beans.

Kid Participation:
* Add ingredients to slow cooker

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