If you’re a fan of hearty and flavorful soups, then the Santa Fe Soup with Cheese is an absolute must-try! This mouthwatering dish brings together the rich flavors of Santa Fe cuisine and the comforting warmth of a slow-cooked soup. Packed with wholesome ingredients and a touch of cheese, this recipe will leave you craving for more. In this article, we’ll take you through a step-by-step guide on how to prepare this delectable Santa Fe Soup with Cheese, along with some tips and tricks to enhance its taste and nutritional value.
Table of Contents
- What is Santa Fe Soup with Cheese?
- Preparation Time
- Slow Cooker Method
- 4.1 Soaking the Beans
- 4.2 Sautéing the Vegetables
- 4.3 Combining the Ingredients
- 4.4 Slow Cooking
- Stovetop Method
- Serving and Garnishing
- Tips to Enhance the Flavor
- Health Benefits
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What is Santa Fe Soup with Cheese?
Santa Fe Soup with Cheese is a popular Southwestern-style soup known for its bold and zesty flavors. It typically includes a delightful combination of black beans, corn, tomatoes, various vegetables, and flavorful spices. The addition of cheese gives this soup a creamy and indulgent twist, making it a favorite among soup enthusiasts.
To prepare Santa Fe Soup with Cheese, you will need the following ingredients:
- 1 cup dried black beans
- 1 cup frozen or fresh corn kernels
- 1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 ounces)
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Fresh cilantro, chopped (for garnish)
3. Preparation Time
The preparation time for this soup may vary depending on the method you choose. Using a slow cooker will require less active preparation time, while the stovetop method may be quicker.
4. Slow Cooker Method
4.1 Soaking the Beans
Before you start cooking, it’s essential to soak the black beans overnight. Rinse the beans thoroughly, then place them in a bowl with enough water to cover them completely. Cover the bowl and let the beans soak overnight. This step ensures that the beans cook evenly and become tender.
4.2 Sautéing the Vegetables
In a pan over medium heat, add a drizzle of olive oil and sauté the chopped onions, diced bell pepper, and minced garlic until they become translucent and fragrant. This process enhances the flavor of the soup and releases the aromas of the vegetables.
4.3 Combining the Ingredients
Once the beans have soaked overnight, drain the water and add them to the slow cooker. Add the sautéed vegetables, corn kernels, diced tomatoes (with their juices), ground cumin, chili powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. Mix all the ingredients thoroughly to combine the flavors.
4.4 Slow Cooking
Set the slow cooker on low heat and let the soup cook for 6-8 hours or on high heat for 3-4 hours. The slow cooking process allows all the ingredients to meld together, creating a delightful and hearty soup.
5. Stovetop Method
If you’re short on time, you can prepare the Santa Fe Soup with Cheese on the stovetop. Simply follow these steps:
- Rinse the black beans and place them in a large pot with enough water to cover them completely. Bring the water to a boil and then let the beans simmer for 1-2 hours until they become tender.
- In a separate pot, sauté the onions, bell pepper, and garlic until softened. Add the corn, diced tomatoes, cumin, chili powder, paprika, salt, and pepper.
- Once the beans are tender, drain them and add them to the pot with the vegetables. Pour in the vegetable or chicken broth and let the soup simmer for another 30-40 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
6. Serving and Garnishing
Serve the Santa Fe Soup with Cheese hot and garnish it with shredded cheddar cheese and fresh cilantro. The cheese will melt into the soup, adding a creamy texture and extra depth of flavor. You can also add a dollop of sour cream or a squeeze of lime juice for an extra kick.
7. Tips to Enhance the Flavor
- For a spicier kick, add some chopped jalapeños or a pinch of cayenne pepper to the soup.
- Enhance the smoky flavor by adding a bit of chipotle powder or smoked paprika.
- Experiment with different types of beans, such as pinto beans or kidney beans, to create your unique twist on the recipe.
8. Health Benefits
Santa Fe Soup with Cheese is not only delicious but also nutritious. It’s a great source of dietary fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. The beans provide a healthy dose of plant-based protein, while the vegetables contribute essential nutrients to support overall well-being.
Santa Fe Soup with Cheese is a delightful blend of Southwestern flavors and cheesy goodness. Whether you prepare it in a slow cooker or on the stovetop, this soup is sure to become a family favorite. Enjoy its wholesome taste, and savor the comfort it brings during colder days.
- Can I use canned black beans instead of dried ones? Yes, you can use canned black beans if you want to save time. Just make sure to rinse and drain them before adding them to the soup.
- Can I freeze the leftovers? Absolutely! Santa Fe Soup with Cheese freezes well. Store the leftovers in an airtight container and freeze for up to three months.
- Is this soup suitable for vegetarians? Yes, the recipe provided here is entirely vegetarian. If you’re vegan, you can replace the cheese with a vegan alternative.
- Can I add meat to the soup? Of course! If you prefer a meaty version, you can add cooked and shredded chicken or ground beef.
- What are some optional toppings for the soup? Besides the suggested garnishes, you can top the soup with crushed tortilla chips, avocado slices, or a dollop of guacamole for added texture and flavor.