Recipe: Black Bean Soup

January 29, 2008 in beans, recipe, soup

This soup is a staple for me. I absolutely adore it! I found my inspiration from Bobby Flay’s newest cookbook: Mesa Grill. The soup itself is thick and hearty. And no meat eater feels the lack of meat as the main course (& if you used a meaty stock then there is no meat lacking anyway ;-) ). Don’t skimp on toppings for the soup either – it takes “soup” to a new level and impresses even your toughest guest!

Best of all about this soup though – is the next day! The soup thickens and becomes a most decadent black bean dip. It is perfect on chips, smeared on burritos, or just eaten out of the bowl. Brad calls it “alternative refried beans,” and that is a great description because it is very smooth and creamy, but not refried at all! Enjoy! 8-)

Serve the soup in generous bowls (but it is very filling so be careful with the quantity!). Place toppings on the table and let everyone dress their soup as desired.

Part of the reason I wanted to share this post right now though, is the recipe round-up over at The Well Seasoned Cook of legume recipes! Yes my favorites! And of course I knew I had to participate. :-) When she posts the round-up of all the contributions I’ll be linking to it you can be sure. For now though, enjoy my participation – this soup & dip will not disappoint!

Ingredients:

  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1 c. red wine or beer
  • 3 c. black beans, soaked, rinsed, drained
  • 3 jalapeños roasted, peeled and seeded*
  • 1 poblano pepper, roasted, peeled and seeded*
  • 4 c. stock (chicken, ham, vegetable, or just water)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook the carrots, onion and garlic for 5 minutes, or until translucent. Add the wine, (or beer) then bring to a boil, and cook until reduced.
  2. Add the beans and reduce heat to medium. Add the jalapeños, poblano, and stock. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 1 to 1-1/2 hours, or until the beans are cooked through.
  3. Remove from heat and add the lime juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Remove half (or more if you want it creamier) of the soup and puree in a blender (preferably a Vita Mix), then return it to the pot and stir well.

*To roast & seed the peppers, place them directly under the broiler and turn often. After about 10 minutes the skin will be blackened all around. Place the peppers in a ziploc bag or a sealing container. Seal the peppers in there for about 15 minutes then remove. The skin should slide off relatively easily. It does not have to be perfect! Cut open carefully and scrape out seeds. Be careful because the capsaicin in the seeds can stay on your hands for hours and sting an eye very easily. Also, please taste the chilies, some can be spicier than expected and you may only want to use one jalapeño. Every chili is a true individual. :-)

Perfect sides for black bean soup or dip:

Cumin Crema: even the most anti-Sour Cream person – aka ME! – will love this crema. The cumin really adds a new dimension.

  • 1 T. cumin
  • 8 oz. sour cream or crema
  • lime juice
  1. Mix all ingredients (you can reduce quantities to make a smaller amount). Use lime juice as desired.
  2. Crema is best set aside in the refrigerator to let the flavors meld before serving.

Grilled Red Onion “Salsa”

  • 1 red onion, sliced into half-inch rounds
  • 1-2 T. olive oil
  1. Preheat a grill pan or the broiler. Lightly brush the onion with olive oil then place on the grill pan or under the broiler.
  2. Cook for several minutes per side until nicely charred. Remove from the grill pan. Chop roughly into chunks and toss well with salt & pepper.

Avocado Relish: make this or your favorite guacamole. You can also substitute tomatillos for the tomatoes.

  • 1 avocado, coarsely chopped
  • 1 lemon or lime, juiced
  • 1-2 tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 2 T. red onions, minced
  • salt & pepper
  1. Combine all ingredients, adding lemon juice, salt & pepper as desired.