March 11, 2009

the brilliance of black beans

I don't discriminate against beans--I sincerely love them all. But if you twisted my arm (or, say, threatened to make me beanless for life), I'd have to confess that the black bean is my favorite.

Black Beauty, if you will.


I can't explain why I feel that way, but I do. Perhaps it's their unbounded versatility, or perhaps it's their hearty texture. Perhaps it's the way they turn the water purple when they're rehydrated from a dried state. I just don't know.


Although they make a fine accompaniment to almost any type of cuisine, I've found that they're rarely in the spotlight. The black bean deserves a little more recognition, folks! So here's my version of black bean soup, full of those glorious beans, sauteed veggies, and spice. Lots of spice. I love the texture created by pureeing the soup with my immersion blender, but that's an optional step.


Make it your own, but by all means, make it!

Black Bean Lover's Black Bean Soup
2 to 3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup onions, chopped
1 cup serrano peppers, chopped
1/2 cup carrots, chopped
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon fresh-cracked pepper
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups black beans, soaked, cooked, drained, rinsed, what-have-you
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes with chiles, undrained
4 cups chicken stock or water

Heat oil in a large pot, add onions, peppers, and carrots, and cook on medium high, stirring often, until soft and starting to brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Add the spices and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.

Add the beans, tomatoes, and liquid. Cover and bring to a boil, then simmer with the lid barely cracked, stirring occasionally, for 30 to 60 minutes.

Purée with an immersion blender until the desired consistency is reached, or transfer about two-thirds of the soup in batches to a regular blender and purée, then return to the pot. Heat to desired temperature and devour.

64 comments:

Foodie with Little Thyme! said...

I too love the black bean. This sounds yummy.

Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

This sounds like perfect comfort food!

Louise at Livin Local said...

Black beans are an absolute must in my pantry and I sneak them into or substitute them into so many dishes. Love your combination of spices .... coriander and celery salt sounds delicious!

kimberleyblue said...

I love black bean soup too - especially smothered with sour cream and cheese!

This looks like a great recipe, can't wait to give it a try.

Julia said...

I come from a long line of bean haters. It's a wonder I've come to love them so much! And, I'm with you -- black beans are my favorite, with garbanzos being a close second.

I'd also like to second Kimberleyblue's comment.

Ann said...

All about the black bean as well! Refried? Screw 'em. But black? OH sweet hay-soos!

Sharon said...

Too bad you live so far away! I think we have a lot of culinary loves in common, especially cinnamon and black beans!

I live for black beans :)

Marjie said...

My husband's mother was overly fond of baked beans, and so he won't eat any kind of bean, except green beans. Sad day in my little world. Your soup looks good.

Lisa said...

Lots of nice spices here, but where's the cinnamon? I do love a good bowl of black bean soup. This one sounds great.

Culinarywannabe said...

An economical meal as well! I try and do at least one meat free meal a week, and it usually end up being soup. This one looks perfect with all the lovely spices!

Pam said...

Black beans are my favorite bean too - this soup looks and sounds so delicious Grace.

toontz said...

We ALWAYS have a bag of black beans in the pantry. This soup sounds fantastic. Good job!

Maria said...

I don't eat meat so black beans are a protein staple in my diet, love them!

Paula said...

S.O.U.P.!!!! In addition to being a soup fan, I'm also a bean lover, too. I've only recently embraced the black bean, but we are now bonded forever. This soup is scrumptious, especially with that bit of heat from the chile, and will be gracing my table for lunch. I'll have to use canned beans to make that happen, but I can live with that! YUM!

The Blonde Duck said...

I love black beans. I always love finding Mexican restuarnts that serve black beans with their enchiladas. SWOON!

Linds said...

Mmm I think black beans may be my favorite too ;)
This looks great!

Bunny said...

I hear you and totally agree, you've done a fantastic job of bringing them to the fore front, this looks wonderful!

foodhoe said...

holy canoli girl, a cup of serrano peppers is mighty spicy for the likes of me! I'm good with about one pepper, which is what? a tablspoon chopped? :)

lisaiscooking said...

I've been wanting some black bean soup lately, and yours looks fantastic! Perfect texture.

Dawn said...

have you tried using them in brownies? I hear it's really good. I haven't tried it, but I am willing.

unconfidentialcook said...

I haven't had a good black bean soup in eons--so thanks for the inspiration. I love it with a dollop of sour cream and salsa.

Amy said...

looks yummy Grace! I make a black bean soup too, but haven't given the serrano peppers a try! I love it with cumin as one of the spices! Our fam loves black beans, esp. black bean and corn salsa! Very cheap to eat too!!

Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella said...

Yup! Black bean lover from way back here too. I love the colour and the smokey flavour of them and this soup sounds like a winner!

Bridgett said...

Mmmm, spicy black beans...count me in!

Heather said...

ohhh. i think black beans are my favorite, too. this soup sounds DELICIOUS!

Kendra said...

Black beans are a recent discovery for me within the last year. They are so yummy and full of flavor. Now I add them when I can, just as a side dish, mexican casserole or lasagna, taco soup, but never just black bean soup. Looks WONDERFUL! A must try!

Ginny said...

I think this might be a contender for the favorite black bean soup of all time award. It looks awesome.

MaryBeth said...

I too simply love the Black Bean.. this soup is fabulous, you are a girl after my own heart.

Melanie said...

Oooh, I really have been looking for a new recipe for black bean soup. Yum!

Robin Sue said...

This sounds like a seriously delicious black bean soup! Love the spices in this.

noble pig said...

OMG I want to dip a torta in there!

Sara said...

I make a lot of beans, they're delicious and healthy! This looks great.

Joie de vivre said...

I made brownies out of black beans this past weekend. There are so many things one can do with them. I don't know if I could call them my favorite though, but they come close to the top of the list. :)

Sophie said...

I love your black beautie!!!! I just love all sorts of beans!! It is healthy & delicious!!!

Emily said...

This is my kind of meal! I've been eating lots of soup lately. It's so warm and filling.

I'd have to agree with you on your love for black beans. I love them too! My absolute favorite.

Lori said...

I have to say that I totally agree with you about black beans as evidenced by the amount of black bean dishes on my blog. But the adzuki really is vying for that place in my heart. But then there is no adzuki recipes on my blog yet. Hummm. Why is that?

Hornsfan said...

There's certainly something about black beans, they are delicious and nutritious! This looks quite tasty!

Jeanne said...

Mmmmmm - I love black beans, and your spice mix looks like the perfect foil for them. I was ecstatic to find that the "international" aisle at our local supermarket here in the UK now sells tinned black beans - previously you just did not see them. Now if only they woudl do a larger range of dried chillies...

Ingrid said...

Looks good! I've only recently realized that I like black beans and I'm learning to love soup. Funny thing, my kids have always known how great both of those are....pretty sad! Thanks for sharing the recipe.
~ingrid

OhioMom said...

Black beans are my fav too, I make a mean black bean burger ... even the meat eaters in my house love them :)

Elyse said...

Beans, tomatoes, and all those wonderful spices--they were made to go together. And, they were made to take center stage!! This soup looks fabulous. I'm with you: I love many a-bean, but I adore black beans. Great fiber, great taste! Can't wait to try your soup!

Donna-FFW said...

This looks delectable. I love it. I am going to try this one very soon. I wish I had some for my luch right now:)

Cookie baker Lynn said...

That looks like fabulous soup. Is the 4 cups measure of beans after the soaking or before? If after, do you know how much dry beans?

Deborah said...

I love black beans, but my husband doesn't care for them so I don't have them very often. I'll have to whip up a batch of this for myself!

♥Rosie♥ said...

Looks a fab recipe and you can't beat a good bowl of soup - such comfort food.

Rosie x

Pam said...

Black beans are my favorite too! And I'm not just saying that! I'm bookmarking this because I used to have a favorite black bean soup recipe and I lost it. I've been unable to match it since then, so I have high hopes for this!

Amanda said...

Yeah, mama! I, too, love black beans and make them often.

La Traductora said...

Like the good little Mexican girl that I am I love beans, but mostly I love beans served just the way my mama made them: soupy with fresh chopped green onion, cilantro and fresh homemade salsa, served up with a fresh homemade corn tortilla. Absolutely delicioso! If you love Mexican food, please go to my blog and find out obsessed I am with all things Mexican!

shimmiesandsprinkles said...

That soup is a need to try, it's on the shopping list. Black beans are beloved here too, a little cumin and some yellow rice and a little tomato!

eatme_delicious said...

Black beans were the first "acceptable" bean to me. I never liked beans but being vegetarian.. I'm really trying!

pigpigscorner said...

I've only cooked with fermented black beans, would love to try the non-fermented ones!

Sandie said...

I'm a fan of black beans too (all beans, really). With the plethora of white bean recipes I've seen lately (not that I'm complaining), seeing a recipe for black beans was a welcome departure. Yum!

Ari (Baking and Books) said...

Black beans definitely need more recognition! We use them all the time. I especially love making black bean enchiladas.

chuck said...

Grace, I'm with you all the way! Black beans are the best! Whenever I make soup, stews, salads I always put in black beans. Love them!

Peter M said...

Methinks an octopus would be go down easier than something this "brown", if ya know what I mean! ;)

Island pepperpot said...

Grace, I have to agree with you black beans is a staple in My kitchen. As a Caribbean cook I use it in abundance, from black bean burgers, flans, salsas,stewed pork with black beans. I just love it. Great blog by the way.

Kevin said...

Black beans are one of my favorite beans as well. This black bean soup looks nice and thick and good!

Manger La Ville said...

This black beans soup looks fantastic. My mom used to make a black bean chili from Greens cookbook. It will always be a truly delicious comfort food. I can't wait to try yours.

Mike of Mike's Table said...

Oh me oh my does that look good. I'd be hard pressed to pick a favorite bean, but the black bean would definitely be on the short list. I absolutely love the sound of this soup!

melissa said...

I love black beans too! i'm constantly trying to redo my black bean soup to make it perfect! i'll have to give this recipe a shot.

Jeff said...

This reminds me I need to start using black beans more. Thanks for sharing!

[eatingclub] vancouver || js said...

I. have. to. make. this. soon. Looks awesome!

Lovely Lacey said...

I too am a lover of the black bean lol You should check out my black bean soup recipe.

You can check it out here if you want...
http://lovelylovelycupcakes.blogspot.com/2008/11/mmm-mm-good-frijoles-negros-black-bean.html

SenseiMattKlein said...

Combine the black beans with kidney beans. Just as good