Sunday, January 16, 2011

Black Bean Soup

I got this recipe from Smitten Kitchen.  One of the things I really like about this recipe is that although dried beans are used - there is no need to soak them. It is intended for the slow cooker, and I have used my slow cooker to make it before with great success. 

Right now, my slow cooker is in storage at my parent's house - so I figured I could just make this soup by simmering it slowly on the stove-top.  I was right - and it came out great.
As you know, I'm very particular about soups when they are all veggie, and no meat.  I usually find them bland and unsatisfying.  This black bean soup however, is an exception to that rule.  The soup is rich and hearty, with a bit of a slow, low burn from the chipotles in adobo.
Do not skip the step where half of the soup is blended.  This gives the soup a rich and luxurious quality.

Topped with greek yogurt and some shredded cheddar this makes a great lunch or dinner!

I used the Fine Cooking recipe for classic buttermilk cornbread.  It was good - but I think I prefer my cornbread a little sweeter.  I did LOVE the method of browning butter in the cast iron skillet, then adding the brown butter to the batter - then pouring the batter back into the skillet and baking.

If you're interested, the recipe can be found HERE.

The crust came out with a perfect texture, and popped easily out of the pan.

Slow Cooked Black Bean Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium-size red onions, chopped
1 medium-size red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium-size green bell pepper, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 teaspoons ground cumin
1 16-ounce package dried black beans
1 tablespoon chopped chipotle chiles from a can - use more or less depending on your tolerance for spice.  I used slightly more and it had a hearty burn.
7 cups water
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

(My directions are for the dutch oven - for the slow cooker version, just cook the aromatics in a skillet.  Throw everything but the lime juice, salt, and pepper in your slow cooker and cook on high for 3 hours or until the beans are soft)

In a large dutch oven heat the oil over medium high heat.  Add onions and peppers and cook until they start to brown.  Add garlic and cumin, stir for one minute until aromatic.  Add beans, chipotles, and 7 cups of water.  Cover and cook on medium until beans are tender.

Turn off the heat and let the soup cool slightly.  Transfer 1/3 of the mixture to a blender (you can do this in batches) and process until smooth.  Return blended soup to the pot, stir in lime juice, salt, and pepper.  Taste and adjust seasonings.  Return the soup to low heat just to bring back to temperature.  Serve soup with sour cream, greek yogurt, cheese, salsa, and/or corn chips - whatever your heart desires.

This would be great with some diced avocado too!

This recipe makes about 6-8 servings - so if you think you might get tired of that much black bean soup- put it into the freezer for a quick future dinner!


  1. This looks delicious! I love to make big batches of soup to have & freeze for easy lunches. I will definitely add this to my slow-cooker recipe collection.

  2. I've tried a ton of black bean soup recipes and haven't found one I like yet, this looks perfect. I love being able to control the heat as well.

  3. I love this vegetarian soup and your photos look fabulous!

  4. looks so good!! want some in my kitchen!

  5. The soup looks so good, tons of vibrant veggies... and look at that beautiful Le Creuset too! I like my cornbread with honey sometimes, so I definitely understand liking it on the sweeter side.

  6. wow I LOVE soup, and I LOVE my crockpot equally! This recipe looks great! I'm enjoying your blog!

  7. This is literally my ideal winter meal. I swear I'm getting an immersion blender so I can make this and do the blending.

  8. Yum! I am making this next weekend; it looks so comfy and warm.

  9. This looks fantastic! I'm always looking for new, vegetarian-friendly soups to make this time of year, and this is definitely going on my list. I also love the sounds of the homemade cornbread with the burnt butter! Delish!

  10. This looks wonderful! Love the combo of the cornbread with it. Your photos are great! I bet the avocado would be great with it also. Nicely done!

  11. is it bad that i just giggled at the frying pan handle?

    soup looks amazing!

  12. I am always looking for new soup dishes, yours looks great! I haven't had cornbread in so long, yum!! Thx for sharing!

  13. that soup looks delicious! i just had an awesome black bean soup last night at ole in inman square. i would love to make my own and this recipe sounds awesome. great meeting you at the Gallows this week. hope to keep in touch!