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Black Bean Soup

Black Bean Soup

A giant pot sat simmering on the burner, its contents lending a spicy blend of textures and creaminess, Black Bean Soup. 

It was ‘the best Black Bean Soup he’s ever had’ my youngest brother, Steven said on his last visit. He was recalling with me a special memory going back to over thirty years ago, when he and his high school buddies made their somewhere over five mile trek to my first home for a visit. This is what I served them.

Maybe you too have prepared a dish sometime in the past and later on had a family member or friend remember it fondly inspiring you then to recreate it. This homemade version is just what I’ve been working on and after a few rounds of batch testing I’ve prepared it again to share with you today, I bet you’ll love it! And as for my youngest brother, Steven, well, with summer family reunion just around the corner, and a written recipe for his favorite Black Bean Soup at hand,  I can hardly wait for his next visit!

Black Bean Soup
This recipe makes a double batch of Black Bean Soup and may be halved if desired. For less spicy soup reduce spice amounts slightly. Black Bean Soup freezes well. Serves 6-8 depending on bowl serving size
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Ingredients
  1. Prepare the black beans: Begin by soaking beans overnight, instructions below
  2. 2 16 ounce bags black beans
  3. 2 red onions
  4. 12 cloves
  5. 2 cinnamon sticks
For the Soup
  1. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  2. 4 slices bacon, cut in half
  3. 2 medium sized red onions, chopped
  4. 1 red bell pepper, seeded, pith removed, chopped
  5. 2-4 jalapeno peppers, depending on spice preference, seeded, pith removed, chopped
  6. 2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  7. 3/4 tablespoon cumin
  8. 3/4 tablespoon ground coriander
  9. 1/2 tablespoon Mexican chili powder
  10. 1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika
  11. 1/8- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  12. few grinds cracked black pepper
  13. 4 quarts, plus more if needed for thinning, beef, chicken or vegetable stock, or a combination
  14. 1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt, more or less according to taste
  15. fresh squeezed lime juice, optional
  16. lime wedges, fresh chopped cilantro, and crumbled Manchego cheese for garnish
Instructions
  1. On the day before preparing the soup, rinse black beans, sift through for any debris or pebbles, place beans in a stock pot, cover with cool water by a few inches and soak on counter overnight.
For the soup
  1. Drain and rinse soaked beans, return to a clean stock pot and fill with cool water to a few inches above the beans. Stick both red onions with a half dozen cloves each and place into the bean pot with 2 sticks of cinnamon. Bring beans to a boil on high heat, reduce temperature to medium and cook beans until tender, around 50 minutes to an hour. Drain beans, remove cinnamon sticks, onions, and any remaining bits of onion in the mixture. Wash out stock pot, wipe dry, then heat pot on burner at low heat, adding in 1 tablespoon olive oil along with the bacon halves. Cook until bacon releases its fat into the pan, stir, reduce heat to very low, add in the onions, red pepper, and jalapenos cooking slowly until ingredients are well softened, around ten minutes. Scrape in the garlic and cook another few minutes before sprinkling in the spice mixture, stirring well to blend. Tumble in the cooked black beans folding throughout the pot ingredients let cook another couple of minutes before pouring in the stock. Increase temperature to medium heat until soup begins to boil, reduce heat to low and simmer around an hour for flavors to fully blend. Remove bacon, discard, (alternatively, 2 of the halves may be blended with the soup if desired.) Working in batches, transfer 1/3 of the soup at a time (up to around 2/3 of the soup) into a blender or food processor pouring the blended mixture into a separate bowl until desired amount has been blended. Be sure to keep enough of the beans whole lending both texture and creaminess to the soup before returning to the pot, stirring through and heating on low heat until soup is again hot. Sprinkle in the salt, stir, check seasoning, adding more salt if needed according to taste. Drizzle in the lime juice, if using, stir. Ladle hot soup into bowls, garnish with fresh chopped cilantro, crumbled Manchego cheese, and lime wedges.
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8 Comments

  1. Posted May 2, 2016 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    This sounds delicious, Peggy! I love black bean soup. Pinning this for a future rainy day.
    Kelly recently posted…Sunday Inspiration #19My Profile

    • Posted May 3, 2016 at 8:27 am | Permalink

      Hi Kelly, Thanks so much! I love Black Bean Soup too and there was a time when I was tasting it everywhere I went especially in parts of Florida. I really like the creamy with texture variety of blend as this, along with a bit of a spicy kick! Have a great day. Ugh, looks like we’ve more rain continuing for the next few days ahead!

  2. Meredith
    Posted May 3, 2016 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    Love Black Bean Soup and since it has been feeling like late fall instead of spring maybe I should give it a try. Just checked and I have all the spices. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

    • Posted May 3, 2016 at 8:32 am | Permalink

      Hi Meredith, so excited you are going to give the Black Bean Soup a try, I’m sure you will love it! As always, thanks so much for writing in, much appreciated!

  3. Joanne C.
    Posted May 3, 2016 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Hi Peg. Black Bean Soup looks really good, never knew it could look so pretty, your photo is beautiful. See ya next week.

  4. Posted May 6, 2016 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    Black bean is one of my favorite soups. With this cold clammy NYC weather today that would be a perfect dinner!
    phil recently posted…Life can be cruel when you can’t view your penis anymore!My Profile

    • Posted May 7, 2016 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      Hi Phil! Black Bean Soup is one of my favorites too, yes, it is perfect for this rainy chilly weather we’ve been experiencing- Day 11 of rain! Tomorrow the sun re-emerges! Yay! Black Bean soup is a good healthy soup too when keeping an eye on your healthy eating!

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  • Hi, I'm Peggy. Welcome to our Shared Table at Spiced Peach Blog!
    Subscribe here for my fresh, seasonal recipes with an international twist.