Here's my favorite black bean soup! It uses dried black turtle beans which are the key to making the best black bean soup with rich dark velvety broth. A generous seasoning of cumin and chipotle chilis in adobo infuse smokiness and just the right amount of heat into this delicious healthy soup that is hearty enough to serve for dinner.
This is exactly what I crave when I want a warm, filling and healthy meal. Black beans are a great source of protein, fiber and nutrients. Their wonderful earthy flavors are so satisfying, there's no need for meat in this meal. In fact, this black bean soup is perfect for vegetarians or vegans. Good quality vegetable stock works just as well as chicken stock in this recipe.
NOTES ON COOKING BLACK BEAN SOUP FROM SCRATCH
Have you ever cooked black beans from scratch? If so, did you pre soak them overnight? Or maybe you've tried the quick boil and soak method?
Should you soak black beans before cooking them? This is a hotly debated question. Here's a hilarious article on the topic, by Kenji Lopez from Serious Eats. He does extensive testing, even goes so far as to feed soaked and un-soaked black beans to his dog to track the comparative "wind" factor. His conclusion: don't bother soaking. Others insist soaking makes beans more digestible, reduces cooking time and increases nutrient absorption.
After weighing lots of pros and cons, I say: soak them. It's easy. All you have to do is put them in a bowl and pour water on top. Let them soak for at least 8 hours or overnight. Drain them and they're ready to go, guaranteed to cook quickly, to be nice and tender, and they will probably be more digestible than un-soaked beans.
HOW TO MAKE BLACK BEAN SOUP FROM SCRATCH
This recipe comes together easily but you do need to stick around to tend to the pot from time to time.
- First you sauté the carrots, onions and garlic to soften them. Then you'll add sherry, chopped jalapeños, chipotle chilies in adobo sauce and cumin and let those cook and soften for a couple of minutes.
- Next, add the beans, stock, oregano and bay leaves. Simmer the soup until the beans are tender, about an hour an a half.
- At the end of cooking you may want to puree some of the soup for a creamier texture.
- Finally, taste the soup and correct the seasoning with salt and pepper and a teaspoon or two of red wine vinegar to brighten the flavors.
- Serve the soup hot, in deep bowls garnished with your favorite toppings.
TIME SAVING TIPS
- Use your food processor to chop the vegetables. It works like a dream and saves tons of time. I even used it for the garlic. Be sure to use the pulse button so you don't pulverize the veggies.
- Use an immersion blender to purée the soup right in the pot.
I like to puree about one third of the soup which makes it creamier, but still soupy, with lots of whole beans throughout.
Black beans are a staple food of many Latin American cultures and are enjoyed around the world for breakfast, lunch and dinner. When recipes call for black beans they are usually referring to black turtle beans. These little beans have a rich meaty texture, making them ideal for soup and stews, such as classic meaty Brazilian feijoada and this spicy black bean soup.
A note about garnishes. Even the best soup is elevated by well chosen toppings. Garnishes can be much more than decorations. A bowl of this black bean soup is delicious on its own but add a squeeze of fresh lime juice, some cubed avocado, a sprinkling of chopped red onion and a dollop of yogurt or sour cream, for added deliciousness....and visual excitement.
Here's the recipe for Spicy Black Bean Soup From Scratch. If you try this recipe I hope you'll come back to leave a star rating and a comment. I'd love to know what you think.