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“Why is it getting dark so early,” my son Will, 10, asked one evening recently. It was less of a question and more of a commentary on the shortening of the days, and what that means in the context of our lives.
Whereas the kids spent much of the past few months playing outside when we got home, they only have a few minutes before the sun goes down and only a few beyond that where it’s light enough to play outside.
It’s time to adjust. Not only do we need to dress warmer (“Layers! You need layers, kids!”), but we also have to get used to shorter days and transition from lighter meals of summer to heartier ones. Or, at least warmer ones.
This 10 Minute Cilantro Lime Tomato Soup is perfect for quick fall dinners. It has the light freshness of summer meals, but served hot is a warm, welcome dinner that comforts at the end of busy days.
The soup combines citrus-y lime with fragrant cilantro, sweet tomatoes, meaty black beans and fresh veggies. It’s unexpected, and perfect for those who love southwestern flavors.
This one-pot meal serves two and takes a mere 10 minutes to make. But, if you want to feed more, it’s easily doubled (or tripled!).
You start by sautéing some diced bell peppers and red onions in olive oil. I pretty much always have these ingredients on hand in my kitchen because they are so versatile. We dip bell peppers in hummus, dice them (and red onions) and use them in sauces and pastas and so much more.
Hint: Dice the bell peppers and red onions ahead of time and keep them in containers in the fridge for easy use later. It makes it so easy to add more fresh veggies to your cooking whenever you want to.
You can use them in this dish, but also have them on hand for other dishes — like omelets and pastas.
Or, if you want just enough for this dish, pick up just enough from your grocery store salad bar. Another option? Prechopped veggies from the store.
Then you add in the remainder of the soup ingredients: Hunt’s Diced Tomatoes (with the juices!), black beans, lime and cilantro.
From there, it’s so simple: you just heat it up, season and serve.
It really doesn’t get much easier than that.
A can of Hunt’s tomatoes makes such quick work of the bulk of this soup, giving it a hearty tomato flavor and chunkiness. I found these in the tomato aisle at our local Walmart. They come in a variety of seasonings, but no salt added are my favorite to use in this recipe.
This is fantastic served with tortilla chips on the side. Want to dress them up? Use leftover black beans with a few spoons of RO*TEL tomatoes and a sprinkle of shredded cheddar cheese to make a super quick and easy plate of nachos.
And one more thing …
This easy recipe is also great for lunch. Whip up a batch in the morning to pack in thermoses or save leftovers. This soup is best served hot, but is also quite tasty cold too.
10 Minute Cilantro Lime Tomato Soup
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup diced red bell peppers
- 1/4 cup diced red onions
- 1 14.5- oz can Hunts Diced Tomatoes
- 1/2 cup drained and rinsed canned black beans
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro
- salt and pepper , to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Add the red bell peppers and red onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened -- about 3-5 minutes.
- Add the diced tomatoes with the juices, black beans, lime juice and cilantro. Stir well. Cook over medium heat until warmed -- about 3-4 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. Her latest cookbook is The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook, published by Rockridge Press, which focuses on quick, easy, from-scratch cooking for busy people. A single mother to two kids in middle school, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.