Slow-Cooker Black Bean Soup with Avocado Crema
Slow-cooker Black Bean Soup with Avocado Crema is an easy, hands-off meal that lets your crockpot do most of the work. The avocado crema adds a delightful, tangy creaminess to the soup. A perfect lunch, light dinner, or side-dish.
Servings 6 –8
FOR THE BEAN SOUP
- 1 lb dried black beans
- 1 sweet Vidalia onion sliced into thick rings
- 3 garlic cloves peeled and crushed
- 1 orange rind
- 2 tbsp ground cumin
- 2 tbsp ancho chile powder
- 1 tbsp ground coriander
- 2 tsp Mexican oregano
- 3 bay leaves
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cups beef broth (or vegetable broth; see Recipe Note #3)
- 3 cups water
- 2 smoked ham hocks (optional; see Recipe Note #3 and 4)
- 1 chipotle pepper (optional, see Recipe Note #3)
FOR THE AVOCADO CREMA
- 1 avocado peeled and pitted
- 1/2 cup Mexican crema or sour cream
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tbsp cilantro chopped (optional)
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- cilantro chopped
- sour cream or Mexican crema
- sliced avocado
- sliced scallions
- sliced jalapeños
- cotija cheese crumbled
FOR THE BEAN SOUP
Empty beans into a colander; rinse and pick through to remove any stones or other non-bean material. Add beans to slow-cooker along with all remaining ingredients for the soup. Lid and cook on low for up to 8 hours.
Remove orange rind and bay leaves; discard. Remove ham hocks: you can pick the meat off the bones and add back later (after pureeing the soup), if you'd like, or leave as-is.
Puree the soup to your liking with an immersion blender (see Recipe Notes #1–2). Check seasoning; adjust as necessary. Serve with avocado crema, condiments, and garnishes.
- You can also use a blender, but you must cool the soup first and work in batches. (Hot soups in blenders can cause nasty burns and blender explosions!)
- If you like some intact beans remaining for texture, remove a few cups of beans first and add back after pureeing the rest.
- You can make this recipe vegetarian by omitting the ham hocks and substituting vegetable broth for beef broth. To recapture the smokiness of the ham hocks, add a chipotle pepper to the beans while they slow-cook, OR add an extra 1/2 tbsp. of cumin.
- If you can't find smoked ham hocks, you can use the bone from a smoked ham or simply add some smoked ham cubes (1.5 cups).