It's getting cold outside, and we're not even mad about it. After all, that means that we can now cozy up and sip on a warm bowl of delicious and nutritious soup, which is especially great if you've got a growing baby or baby-to-be to take care of?

When I was growing up, my mom -- who never liked to cook -- would gingerly make her classic 5-bean chili every week during the cooler months. It was one of the only dishes she would make, but it was easily one of my favorite meals. A couple of years ago I decided to create a nourishing soup that could be a tradition in my home. This black bean coconut soup was born. Like any good chili, it is bursting with flavor and will warm you to the core. Serve it with cornbread for a truly perfect meal. Here's how.

Black Bean Coconut Soup

serves 6

4 cups black beans, cooked OR 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup butternut squash, cubed

1 red bell pepper, diced

2 carrots, sliced ½ inch thick

1 can coconut milk

2 tsp cumin powder

2 tsp coriander powder

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper powder

1 tsp sea salt

1/4 of a vegetable bouillon cube

1 tbsp coconut oil OR olive oil

1 cup cilantro for garnish

  • In a large pot, heat 1 tablespoon of coconut oil (or olive oil) on medium heat.
  • When warm, add onions and garlic, and saute until translucent.
  • To the onions and garlic, add butternut squash, carrots and red bell pepper.
  • Cook for a couple of minutes, then add coconut milk plus 2 more cups of water and 1/4 of the bouillon cube.
  • Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer to cook until the vegetables have reached your desired softness, about 15 minutes.
  • Season with cumin, coriander, cayenne and salt. Stir well and cook for another few minutes.
  • Remove from heat and add the cilantro, and more spices to taste.