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Heat a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add oil (or water), onion, and garlic. Season with a pinch each salt and pepper and sauté for 4-5 minutes.
Add black beans, vegetable broth, cumin, chili powder, coriander, chipotle peppers (optional – start with the lesser amount and work up // adjust to preferred heat level), dark chocolate, and remaining salt and pepper (a couple healthy pinches each).
Bring back to a simmer over medium heat, then reduce heat to low and cook uncovered for about 15-20 minutes (the longer it simmers, the more the flavors develop).
Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding chipotle peppers for spice, chocolate for depth of flavor, cumin or chili powder for smokiness, or more salt and pepper to taste.
Enjoy as is, or pair with cooked grains such as rice or quinoa. Topping options include fresh lime, avocado or guacamole, cilantro, onion, hot sauce, and/or salsa!
Store soup well covered in the refrigerator up to 5-7 days. Will keep in the freezer for 1 month (oftentimes longer).