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Black Bean Soup: How do you make yours?


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I'm in a soup makin' mood, and want to make a nice black bean soup. I've made a simple version of my own creation a few years ago which included chipotle peppers which was pretty good. Looking through EG, I coudn't find any discussions on the subject, so I thought I'd mention it.

What suggestions or ideas have you for black bean soup? Have you a favorite recipe? Do you even like it?

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 ... Shel


 

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This is the recipe I use. I can't remember where I got it, but need to make it again soon:

Black Bean Soup

Servings: 4

Ingredients

5 slices smoked bacon, finely chopped

1 1/4 cups onion, chopped

1 stalk celery, chopped

1 medium carrot, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

1 cup chicken stock

3/4 cup chopped canned tomatoes with juice

1 Tbs tomato ketchup

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1/2 Tbs chili powder

2 cans black beans, drained, but not rinsed

1 cup corn kernels, frozen

salt, to taste

fresh ground black pepper, to taste

1/2 cup cilantro leaves, lightly packed

1 tsp lime juice

Procedure

1 Put the bacon into a large heavy pot and place it over medium heat. Cook until it starts to give up its fat.

2 Stir in the onions and cook, stirring, until they start to turn translucent. Don't let them brown.

3 Stir in the celery and carrots and cook, stirring, until they have started to soften.

4 Stir in the garlic and cook until you can smell it, about one minute.

5 Stir in the broth, tomatoes, ketchup, Worcestershire, and chili powder.

6 Stir in the beans and corn kernels. Increase the heat and bring to a boil.

7 Adjust the heat so the soup is bubbling gently and simmer for 10 minutes.

8 Season to taste with salt and pepper.

9 Chop the cilantro coarsely and stir in.

10Continue to simmer the soup until thickened, about 5 more minutes.

11Stir in the lime juice and serve.

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I like the Rancho Gordo recipe... and I use their Midnight Black beans to make it. What's great about it is the rich, smoky body lent by the roasted garlic and tomatoes.

6 unpeeled garlic cloves

2 tbs olive oil

4 whole fresh tomatoes with juice (they should be good ones)

1/2 pound dry black beans, cooked, with their cooking liquid

1/2 onion

1 jalapeno

1 carrot

1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, roasted and ground

1 tsp dried Mexican oregano

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

2 cups chicken broth or water

freshly ground pepper

garnishes: up to you, I used chopped fresh jalapenos, chopped white onion, sour cream, avocado, cilantro, and lime wedges

Preheat oven to 400F. Place garlic cloves in aluminum foil, drizzle with olive oil, and wrap. Place the tomatoes in a baking pan, cut in half with the cut side facing down. Salt them and drizzle them with oil. Place both the foil-wrapped garlic and the tomato pan in the oven and roast until "soft, fragrant and brown" - 20 minutes or so.

At the same time, place beans and their broth in a pot over low heat. Also, place 2 tbs olive oil in a heavy saute pan over medium-high heat. When warm, add onions, chiles, carrot and cook about 10 minutes or until aromatic. Then add the cooked onions chiles and carrots to the bean pot, along with the cumin, Mexican oregano, cayenne and chicken broth or water.

The roasted vegetables should now be ready - remove them, peel the roasted garlic cloves, and roughly chop the garlic and the tomatoes. Add them to the beans, season to taste, bring to a boil and then simmer until it tastes right - about 15 minutes.

Turn off the heat and let the soup cool, then blend half the soup in a blender, and add back in, adjusting seasoninings. Serve with garnishes.

Edited by patrickamory (log)
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So I have the world's easiest (five ingredients!) black bean soup recipe, and I have yet to make a recipe that I like better. It is a recipe that I have heavily modified from an old Cooking Light recipe. The whole thing can be start-to-on-the table in 15 minutes... And everyone I've served it to loves it. I often make cornbread as an accompanyment.

2 16 oz cans of black beans, or 1 29 ounce can, drained and lightly rinsed.

1 cup good salsa (I use my own home-canned salsa)

1 can reduced sodium chicken broth, or two cups of homemade chicken broth

2 tsp chili powder

1 tsp chili powder

Dump all of the above in a pot, cover, and cook for about 10 minutes, and then partially puree with a stick blender, leaving some beans whole. Garnish with cilantro if available (if I have some, I'll also throw some in when its cooking), cheddar cheese, and sour cream if you want it...

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I'm very fond of Repe Negro, which allows the flavour of the beans to shine:

2 green plantains

500g fresh black beans (or the same weight of dried, soaked, rinsed, and drained. I've never used canned.)

4 largeish potatoes

Water to cover

Salt and pepper to taste

1 clove of garlic

250 mL cream (I use the heaviest cream I can get my paws on)

about 500g fresh cheese (Queso Fresco is my default; this is also quite tasty with drained cottage cheese or Ricotta.)

Cilantro to garnish

Avocado halves

Peel the plantains and break into chunks. Peel the potatoes and cut into chunks. Clean the beans. Place all that in a pot with water to cover, the garlic, and a dash of salt, and boil until the plantains and beans are tender (at this point, the potatoes will be cooked), skimming any scum that forms. Transfer this (edit: the veggies and their liquid) to the blender and pulse until creamy and relatively lump-free. It may take a couple of batches to liquify it all.

Return the now liquified soup to the pot and stir in the cream. If the soup seems too cool, warm over low heat. Crumble in the cheese and stir again*. Serve with half an avocado floating in the bowl, and sprinkle with cilantro.

* you may also choose to add about half the cheese at the blender stage. This makes the repe seem richer.

Edited by Panaderia Canadiense (log)
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Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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Geez you guys use a recipe? :cool:

Actually they all look good and I like the idea of plantains but I'd like them on the side as really thick soups bother me.

One can use canned beans but I think they are "gassy" so make my own beans. Soak one pound frijoles negro for 16-24 hours with at least three changes of water. Then I make "beans" and flavor them however I want. Sometimes just garlic, black pepper, comino and nuoc cham.

For the soup I start with a mire poix and add garlic once that's softened in good olive oil. Chicken broth about 4-5 cups. Salt, bay leaf, comino, some chili-powder or ground ancho chile. If I want to kick it up ground chile de arbol goes in as well. Simmer this for a few minutes to release the spices.

Add a couple cups of cooked black beans- this is where preference plays in- one can certainly add more. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Blend with an immersion blender until smooth. Add a couple more cups of beans. Bring back to a boil reduce heat and simmer mostly covered for about 10 minutes. Adjust seasoning if needed.

Stir in a handful of fresh chopped cilantro and a diced Roma tomato. Garnish with sour cream or cream fraiche, queso fresco and a bit of cilantro.

You're done!

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I absolutely love black bean soup. Not sure I have the recipe anymore, but the one I had was from the NYT, like, 40 yrs ago. Soak lb beans overnight, drain and then cook with 3 cups mixed chopped onion and green pepper (one of the only times I use green pepper), a little chopped garlic, bay leaf, and a big ham bone from a baked ham with some meat still left on it (you can freeze these bones, then pull them out for use). Use 7-8 cups of water and 2-3 cups beef stock. Take some of the meat off before throwing in the pot and reserve. Cook a couple of hours, remove the bone and set aside, pulling off any remaining meat that is not too dried out. Puree about half the beans and liquid, then put it back in with the rest. Add 1/4 c sherry and 2 T sherry vinegar. Reheat I generally add some aleppo pepper at this point too. Garnish with cooked white rice, thinly sliced lime, the reserved ham, and fresh cilantro or parsley. This is the best soup in the world.

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I absolutely love black bean soup. Not sure I have the recipe anymore, but the one I had was from the NYT, like, 40 yrs ago. Soak lb beans overnight, drain and then cook with 3 cups mixed chopped onion and green pepper (one of the only times I use green pepper), a little chopped garlic, bay leaf, and a big ham bone from a baked ham with some meat still left on it (you can freeze these bones, then pull them out for use). Use 7-8 cups of water and 2-3 cups beef stock. Take some of the meat off before throwing in the pot and reserve. Cook a couple of hours, remove the bone and set aside, pulling off any remaining meat that is not too dried out. Puree about half the beans and liquid, then put it back in with the rest. Add 1/4 c sherry and 2 T sherry vinegar. Reheat I generally add some aleppo pepper at this point too. Garnish with cooked white rice, thinly sliced lime, the reserved ham, and fresh cilantro or parsley. This is the best soup in the world.

This is very much like the Cuban black bean soup that I remember loving in Florida and Puerto Rico in the 70s -- will definitely try your recipe. It sounds delicious! I do like it with some grated cheese and chopped red onion or chives.

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I start with soaked beans but not always. Diced onion and green pepper as well as many bay leaves while cooking. Finish with a sofrito of onions, green and red peppers, cumin, cilantro and a good shot of red wine vinegar

I forgot the several cloves of garlic in the cooking and finishing. Can't have Cuban black beans without some garlic.

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  • 4 years later...

reviving this thread as i want to make some black bean soup this afternoon. its crummy and icy and cold out and i would like to let some soup simmer in the dutch oven. i have a 12 oz package of beans but did not have the forsight to soak them.  ive spent the last 20 mins reading various articles on the merits of cooking them unsoaked, or doing a quick soak, or not bothering at all if they arent soaked. anyone care tonshare your experiences with dried black beans and quick soaking or not soaking ? 

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Quick soaking works but I like to do them without soaking to absorb more flavor.  I start with a good dose of garlic sautéed in olive oil, with onions, green peppers and bay leaf.   Cuban/Spanish style. Usually 60-90 min on the stove or oven works well

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I know I learned this method on eGullet but can not find it. So, when I make beans from dried, I put 8 oz. of beans in an ovenproof pot, cover them with 2 to 3 inches of water and let soak for one hour. At this point I heat a tablespoon of bacon drippings in a skillet and cook some onion and garlic just to soften and when the beans are done soaking I add this to the beans. Bring the beans to a boil and cook for 5 minutes at steady boil. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Cover pot and transfer to oven. Set timer for one hour. Check the beans after the hour, add salt and more water if necessary to keep the beans well covered. Continue to cook in the oven for another 15 minutes or until tender.

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I use the Greens restaurant recipe for black bean chili  but I don't presoak.  I cover the beans with water and bring to a boil on the stove.  After about 5 min, I transfer them to a low oven (just enough to maintain a gentle simmer) and proceed with the recipe, making sure they are starting to get tender before I throw the rest of the ingredients.  Black beans cook up pretty quickly as long as they're not terribly old.

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I see you've already started in with the beans, but for future reference, soaking reduces cooking time but is not necessary. Here's @rancho_gordo's method.

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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  • 1 month later...

The recipe I linked to just above, from the Greens restaurant is actually a recipe for black bean chili so it's nice and thick.  It gets thinned down with stock, water or tomato juice to make a soup so you can have it as thick as you like.

With any recipe, you can always mash or purée some of the beans to thicken the soup.

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I highly suggest removing 1/4 to 1/3 of the beans and blending them, then mix back in.

I really dislike the method of partial blending inside the pot. I find the broken beans having an off putting texture, and less thickening power. 

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~ Shai N.

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the NYTimes   

 

had an article  on the Wed. Food section a while back

 

you might look here

 

I can't give you the exact date

 

I think google gets you past their pay=bar

 

i have not made any of these so its up to you to evaluate

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