The soup is lovely, even though it takes less than an hour to make, from prep to table. I served mine with sliced avocado, low-fat sour cream, and a big pinch of cayenne, but some cojita or shredded cheddar is also great addition.
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- Put the bacon into a large heavy pot and place it over medium heat. Cook the bacon until it starts to give up its fat, about 4 minutes. Stir in the onions and cook, stirring, until they start to turn translucent, about 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes, if using, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the broth, tomatoes, Worcestershire, and chili powder, and stir to combine. Then stir in the beans, turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Adjust the heat so the soup is bubbling gently and cook 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- While soup is simmering, pick off all the thick stems from the cilantro, wash, and then and shake dry. Chop the cilantro coarsely and stir it into the soup once it has been simmering 10 minutes. Cook another 5 minutes, or until the soup is thickened. If you want to blend or puree a portion of the soup, do so now (see note above). Stir in the lime juice, then serve with the garnishes.
- When the soup was done, I hit it with my immersion blender for several pulses, until the soup was creamier but still had plenty of whole beans throughout. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can take 1 cup of the finished soup and puree in a blender or food processor, then mix the pureed soup back in with the rest of the soup.