The first time I went to the church in North London, I got a newsletter that had a fantastic recipe for black bean soup, from a girl named Josie. I made a few modifications (dried black beans are so hard to find in these parts. Also, the original recipe calls for cumin and I am no fan of cumin.) Now this is a favorite. I know cilantro is not everyone's cup of tea, so you can leave it out if you fall in that category.
1 onion, cut
4-5 cloves garlic
2 T olive oil
1/4 cup jalapenos, diced (Sometimes this amount makes the soup really spicy, sometimes it's mild. You may want to adjust depending on the heat of the peppers and your preference.)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/4 bunch fresh cilantro
2 cans black beans
3-4 cups vegetable broth
Heat oil in a heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook for a few minutes. Add garlic and jalapenos, saute for about five minutes.
Add everything but the fresh coriander and salt and pepper (beans, broth, etc.). I don't drain the beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover and simmer for about two hours, stirring occasionally.
Wash the cilantro and add to the soup. Puree and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Can be served with lime wedges, sour cream or cheese. The soup can be prepared in advance and reheated.