We love this soup because it's easy to make, tasty, full of texture, and satisfying, even though it's completely vegetarian.
2 cups boiling water
3 cups finely chopped onions
6 garlic cloves, minced
2-4 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2/3 cup water
2 28-ounce cans of diced tomatoes (I usually get 1 can petite diced and one regular)
4 16-ounce cans cooked black beans
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
sour cream or yogurt for garnish
In a small bowl, rehydrate the sun-dried tomatoes by covering them with the boiling water and setting aside.
In a big pot, saute the onions and garlic in the oil until the onions are translucent. It's important to cook them pretty thoroughly at this point, otherwise they'll be crunchy later. Add the cumin, 2/3 cup water and the tomatoes (including their juice - do not drain first). Cover and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes. Add the black beans and their liquid, and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally.
Drain and chop the softened sun-dried tomatoes, reserving the liquid in case the soup becomes a little dry. Add the chopped sun-dried tomatoes to the soup and cook for another 5-10 minutes, until the onions are tender. Turn off the heat and add the cilantro. Puree half the soup in the blender and return it to the pot. If the soup is too thick, add some of the reserved water from the sun-dried tomatoes or tomato juice.
Serve each both with about a teaspoonful of sour cream or yogurt on top. We like low-fat sour cream.
Adapted only slightly from