2 large carrots, peeled, cut in half lengthwise and then sliced (about 1/8” thick)
1 large-ish onion coarsely chopped
2 sweet Italian sausage, casing removed (optional)
½ bag dry black beans
2 bay leaves
Kosher salt and fresh-ground pepper
Cooked brown rice for serving (optional)
Soak the black beans – start with warm water – for about an hour.
In a large pot, sauté the onions, carrots and Italian sausage (The sausage adds a smoky taste and texture to the soup, but is by no means required). Sauté until the onions are translucent. Add the soaked black beans, dump into the pot right along with the water, and additional cold water as needed (you want the soup to be watery at this stage). Add bay leaves, cumin, chili powder and S&P to taste (start small and add more spices as needed when the soup is nearly done). The soup is done when the skin on the beans splits and the soup has the texture of chowder.
Serve with cooked brown rice – or not; your call – add a dollop of sour cream if you’re so inclined, and a couple of warm flour tortillas on the side if you feel like it. Serves four.