Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Soup vegetarian

Spicy Black Bean Soup with Lime Crema and Avocado

spicy black bean soup with lime crema and avocado

I have selected two words for 2014.  I think I’m only supposed to choose one but I couldn’t make a decision between these two words.

Maybe my new word for the year should be decisive.

Someone once told me I had a talent for connecting.  Ok, never thought I’d hear that described as one of my talents.  But I’ll take it.

A bright young professional, a former business acquaintance, visionary; someone that waltzed through my life but for a season.  Although much younger and less life experience, this astute and intuitive young professional was correct.  Without ever paying attention to that little habit of mine, I realized, I like to connect people.  Of course, if it’s a love connection I’m even more delighted.  But I don’t think I’ll be changing my career path to match maker anytime soon.

Shortly after that thought provoking moment, one of my dearest friends told me her Mom once said “one of the most important things in life is our relationships”.  That too struck me and I’ve never forgotten. (Thank you Kristen… and Lola)

My friends Mom was correct. Relationships, connections, for a lifetime or for a season, help shape us, make us who we are and who were meant to be;  often helping us and others find a solid path.

A New Year's Weekend at the Beach

So, I started this year thinking my word for 2014 would be connect.  However, I’m also quite fond of the word listen.  If I hadn’t been listening I would never have “heard” both my business acquaintance or my friend.  Two words that allowed me to pause and reflect, and then proceed with open ears and an open heart.

I admit, it’s not always easy to actively listen. I have so much swimming around in my head most of the time.  I’d like to tell you I often contemplate super cool subjects like why stars split or why some years we have La Nina or El Nino. And, although the weather and astronomy interest me, my head is usually swimming with a list of seasonal ingredients and how I might pull them deliciously together in a new recipe.  Among other things of course, like being a Mom.

And how will I segue into this lush little recipe?  Well… I’ve been listening to my readers and I’m now connecting you with this delightful, seasonal and delicious recipe that simmers warm and cozy for the winter months. (apparently, I also like adjectives)

It’s a new year with new recipes and hopefully a few new food projects. I love hearing from my readers.  If you have recipe ideas or questions, meal ideas or meal idea questions feel free to email me at karistaskitchen@gmail.com.  I’ll answer as quickly as I can.  I promise I will listen and hopefully connect you with the information you need.

Loads of Love and Delicious Wishes,


Spicy Black Bean Soup with Lime Crema and Avocado

I know the ingredient list looks long.  But I promise you’ll probably have most the ingredients on hand and I’ve broken down the ingredient list in order of use.  Sectioning ingredients always helps me when I’m preparing a new recipe.  So I thought it might be helpful for you as well.  Enjoy!!

Serves 4-6


The Veggies:

Tablespoon or two of olive oil

1 white onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, finely diced

1 poblano pepper, roasted, skinned, seeded and diced

The Spices:

1 teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon ground coriander

½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder

¼ – ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

The Base of the Soup:

1 14 ounce can organic diced tomatoes with juice

4 cups vegetable broth

6-8 cups cooked black beans OR 4 14 ounce cans organic black beans

Salt and pepper to taste

1 lime, squeezed

The Garnish:

1 lime sliced

Sliced green onions

Hand torn cilantro

Sliced avocado

½ cup sour cream mixed with a squeeze of lime juice


Heat a large soup pot over medium heat and add the oil.  When the oil is hot add the onion and sauté until soft and translucent.  Then stir in the garlic and roasted poblano pepper and stir for a minute longer.

Next stir in all the spices, the tomatoes, vegetable broth and *black beans *reserving  two cups or 1 can of black beans. This is a semi pureed soup.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Let the soup simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes.  Add a squeeze or two of lime juice, about a tablespoon, and then take it off the heat.  Puree the soup with either a hand blender or carefully transfer the soup in batches to a vitamix or blender and puree.

Add the soup back to the soup pot and stir in the last two cups of black beans or last can of black beans.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and extra lime juice if needed.

Serve the soup in small bowls and garnish with sliced green onions, torn cilantro leaves, sliced avocado, a slice of lime and dollop of sour cream. Enjoy!

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  • Reply
    January 9, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    This is gorgeous Karista… the sentiment, the significant insights, the beautiful fresh recipe (yum!)… everything. I feel like I’ve had a moment of clarity just through reading it. You are SO correct about being decisive, valuing relationships and stopping to listen to the wise voices around us. As I’ve grown older, I’ve realized just how much nourishment each relationship needs. That’s become the first priority for my time an energy… my husband, best friends, parents, siblings. It’s funny how the simplest things seem to be the most difficult to practice. I wish you SO much joy, blessings and memorable moments in the year ahead xx

    • Reply
      January 11, 2014 at 9:31 am

      Thank you so much Laura for the beautiful comment! I’m so glad you liked the post. I too have gained this insight as I’ve gotten older. One of the nice things about age. 🙂 I wish you all the best in the New Year! Hugs! Karista

  • Reply
    Shut Up and Cook
    January 10, 2014 at 9:59 am

    Beautiful as always!

    Although…would you judge me if I told you I secretly just want the lime crema and avocado?

    We miss you in Seattle!


    • Reply
      January 11, 2014 at 9:33 am

      Hi Beautiful!! Thanks so much and no, I’d never judge if you just wanted to scoop off the lime crema and avocado. Lol! One of the best parts of the dish. Miss you tons! I have to get over to your blog and read all about your adventures. Hugs my dear!!

  • Reply
    January 10, 2014 at 10:16 am

    Tasty alternative to chilli.

    • Reply
      January 11, 2014 at 9:33 am

      That’s exactly what my husband said. 🙂 It feels a little like chili but smoother and very comforting. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Reply
    Tabitha Rodgers
    January 10, 2014 at 10:28 am

    Wow! There is so much to love about this post!! I am always on the look out for good filling recipes that include avocado!! And also…you posted pictures from my favorite beach back home <3 I love my new home in New York but nothing compares to the Washington/Oregon coast!!

    • Reply
      January 11, 2014 at 9:35 am

      Thanks so much Tabitha! Are you from the PNW? It is so beautiful here, I do love it. I lived back East years ago and traveled some gorgeous locations on that side of the country as well. Enjoy the recipe!

  • Reply
    January 11, 2014 at 8:21 am

    This soup looks fantastic, Karista, and I’m definitely going to try it. It’s hard to find a black bean soup that has enough spice and flavor in it and this one sounds perfect. Love the lime crema with, too! Happy 2014!

    • Reply
      January 11, 2014 at 9:40 am

      Hi Betsy!! Thanks so much. I agree, hard to find a black beans soup with flavor. And yes, I’m a little addicted to lime crema and avocados. Lol! Happy New Year!!

  • Reply
    Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen
    January 12, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    A very thought provoking and heartful post tonight, Karista. While I don’t know you personally, I could totally see “connect” as your word for 2014. And I could confidently say that you’re a great listener.. even though we’ve never chatted in the literal sense:D I love this recipe.. I’ve discovered quite a few tins of organic beans stashed in my pantry (I have no idea why) and am so happy to have a new dish to try! xx

    • Reply
      January 14, 2014 at 10:39 pm

      Thank you Smidge! Someday we’ll have to meet in person. I feel like I’ve known you for years. Lol! So happy I found your blog, I’m such a huge fan of all that you post, but most especially your writing and poetry. So lovely! xoxo Karista

  • Reply
    The Hungry Mum
    January 13, 2014 at 2:59 am

    Mouth.Is.Watering – can taste this now. Yuuuummmm.

    • Reply
      January 14, 2014 at 10:37 pm

      Thank you! It definitely made my mouth water just preparing this dish. 🙂

  • Reply
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