February 11, 2020 Galit Gottlieb

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.


The Sweet Potato Black Bean Soup sold out, and Alene carried the empty pot back to the kitchen where Kacey, Sally and Rashid were helping Ruthie prepare for the next day, her day off. Jack grabbed the pot and put it in the deepest sink to soak. Alene decided against commenting. She couldn’t criticize every time he missed a step. She showed Ruthie the most recent text from Frank, who’d written: “Still on for later tonight. Drinks or a walk?”

“What?” Ruthie asked, glancing at her watch. She needed to leave by two to prepare Friday night dinner for her family. “Why isn’t Frank taking you out to dinner. What’s this about drinks or a walk?”

“Neal’s not planning to get the children until nine, when they should already be in bed and it’s too late for dinner,” Alene said. “I think a walk with Frank sounds nice. And we can stop for drinks if we get thirsty.”

From Smothered: A Whipped and Sipped Mystery due to published in the summer of 2020.