Sweet Potato Black Bean Soup

1 TBSP olive oil

1 yellow onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 stalks celery, chopped

2 carrots, chopped or sliced

About 32 oz of water

1 large or two medium sweet potatoes, cut into small pieces

15 oz. can of black beans, drained

2 teaspoons cumin

2 tsp basil

1/2 teaspoons smoked or regular paprika

1 cup tomato sauce*

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • Heat up a soup pot
  • Add olive oil and stir chopped onion a few minutes until translucent
  • Add garlic, celery and carrots. Stir an additional couple of minutes
  • Add everything else
  • Feel free to add the whole can of tomato sauce. I always have an open jar of one of the Trader Joe tomato sauces so it’s easy to add as much as I want.
  • Bring to a boil and then let the soup simmer for at least 45 minutes
  • Chop an avocado for garnish, or sprinkle with cheese, chopped parsley/cilantro – everything works, including just serving the soup as is. It’s even better the next day, and can be frozen and reheated.


p. 96 Smothered: A Whipped and Sipped Mystery

The Sweet Potato Black Bean Soup sold out even though it was the middle of a hot summer and that Friday was sweltering. Alene put the pot in the sink and showed Ruthie the text from Frank, who’d written: “Still on for later tonight. Drinks or a walk?”

“Wait just a minute,” Ruthie said, glancing at her watch. She always left at 2:00pm on Fridays. “Why isn’t Frank taking you out to dinner? Why is he suggesting drinks or a walk?”

“Neal is coming to get the kids at nine,” Alene said, “and I think a walk sounds great.”