Servings: Makes 6 servings
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion , chopped
- 1 red bell pepper , ribs and seeds discarded, chopped
- 1 jalapeno , ribs and seeds discarded, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- 3 cans (15 to 19 ounces) black beans , drained and rinsed
- 1 quart reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1/3 cup dry sherry , optional
- Salt and freshly ground pepper , to taste
- Make-Ahead Salsa or store-bought salsa and sour cream and chopped, fresh cilantro , for garnish
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper and jalapeño. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and stir until it gives off its aroma, about 1 minute.
Stir in the beans and broth. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and partially cover the pot. Simmer for 30 minutes. During the last 5 minutes, stir in the sherry, if using.
In batches, transfer the soup to a blender, process until smooth, and pour the puréed soup into a large bowl. (If you have an immersible hand blender, you can purée the soup right in the pot.) Season the soup with salt and pepper.
Serve the soup hot, with bowls of the salsa, sour cream, and cilantro passed on the side so each person can add whatever toppings they like.