I love black beans. As in LOVE. I could eat them every day: with rice, in tacos and quesadillas, in salads (with mangoes and cilantro), and–my favorite way–in this deliciously spicy soup. Lucky for me, black beans are incredibly healthy–they're full of protein (a 1-cup serving has 15 grams) and packed with fiber. This weekend I was craving black bean soup, but only had 30 minutes to throw it together before we headed over to a friend's house for a potluck dinner. I was missing a couple of ingredients, but I was able to run to the corner store AND make the soup in half an hour. (No joke!) Of course if you really wanted to go all out, you could make this soup using dried beans, but that would require soaking and waiting, and frankly I'm far too impatient.

When I make this soup for friends, I like to serve it with several little bowls of garnishes: Greek yogurt, finely chopped red onion, chopped cilantro, diced avocado, or even chopped hard-boiled egg. For a dinner party, I'll also make a simple frisée citrus salad (with sliced oranges or grapefruit or both) and some avocado toasts (toasted bread topped with mashed avocado, lemon, red chili flakes, sea salt, and olive oil) to round out the meal. On Saturday, my friend Rachel made a fantastic roasted squash gratin for our potluck meal, and paired with a simple arugula salad and my black bean soup, we had a gorgeous fall vegetarian buffet. (I think the boys may have been a bit disappointed at the lack of meat initially, but there were clean plates all around afterwards!)

If you're looking for a delicious, healthy, easy-to-prepare idea for dinner this week, look no further. Added bonus: this soup is even better the next day reheated for lunch. Bon appetit!