Black bean soup

Damnit! This is my blog and I’m gonna use it how I want! This post is for my boys. I want to now and again show how to make some simple fare. Dishes that could easily become standard for them. Food they ate growing up.

Most of my readers (I think), don’t need such instruction. So scroll on by! Unless of course you have a trick or special ingredient of your own to share.

Ingredients: One onion, one carrot, half a green pepper, the equivalent of a good sized potato, chicken stock, black beans, jalapeños. Cumin and cilantro.

To be served with a dollop of sour cream and chopped cilantro.

Since I don’t have a regular green pepper in the fridge, I’m using shishito peppers. That means I will skip the jalapeños. About every tenth shishito pepper is very hot.

It goes without saying that I prefer homemade chicken stock, but since I don’t have any, boxed will do. The fact that the key ingredients for this soup are either standard pantry items or standard root cellar items is one of its key virtues. The only grocery wild cards are cilantro and sour cream.

1. Chop veggies. Rough chop is fine, since we will be purée-ing with an immersion blender. Another virtue of this soup. Chop chop done.

2. Sauté the onions. Add a good amount of cumin halfway through. Cooking spices in the oil causes their flavor to bloom, so don’t just add later.

3. Add other root veggies and pepper and stir to coat with oil and cumin. Salt the pot.

4. Rinse the beans and add. Stir in thoroughly before adding stock.

5. Add a box of stock and if you have enough, some sprigs of cilantro.

6. Cook long enough to soften carrots and potatoes, about 20 minutes. Then purée. Taste and adjust salt.

Serve with a couple of generous tablespoons of chopped cilantro and a heaping tablespoon of sour cream (lofat works).

Delicious on its own, the soup becomes a meal with the addition of cheese quesadillas (also super simple to make) or, if lazy, cheese toast.

Bon appetit!

PS If using shishito peppers, be prepared to add a few disks of jalapeños. This batch was a little bland because none of the shishitos were hot.

Also, because I had half an ear of corn leftover in the fridge, I added it and another half can of beans after puréeing. Soup will have a little chunk, which is sometimes nice. The other half can of beans will be added to a salad later in week.

KITCHEN NOTE: I keep an appliance-tool spare kitchen. For instance, I squeeze lemons with one hand, poking with a knife if need be. I use the other hand to catch the seeds. No metal or plastic tool needed.

But! I have two sizes of Cuisinarts (and use both all the time) and consider an immersion blender one of the very best appliances going.

You can, of course, use a blender. It means pouring hot soup into the blender (which for me also requires sliding a stepping stool into place) and possibly doing so in two batches. More to clean afterwards.

15 thoughts on “Black bean soup

  1. Liz A

    I love this! My blog was begun as a recipe depot for my girls when they were first married (not that I really minded the “how do you make …” phone calls). These days I get recipes from them rather than the other way around.

    So bring it on … can’t wait to see more from your kitchen

  2. Joanne in Maine

    Reminds me that it’s been too long since I made Black Bean Soup. I buy bagged frozen green peppers so I always have them as the in-between time (buying and using) is not always in my favor. Your boys might have the same issue? My recipe is from a restaurant that no longer exists.

  3. deb

    I think it’s a great idea since yours are far and away. Mine pick my brain from time to time, but I don’t do cuisine, more like “quick and dirty” food. Your boys are lucky!

  4. Marti

    Muy sobrosa!, very tasty and I like your idea of adding corn. Your soup looks so delicious. Black Bean soup is one of my favorites and I make mine almost the same way as you do. Differences: I saute garlic along with the onions and carrots. I also bloom Mexican oregano along with the cumin in the oil. If I don’t have jalapenos or peppers, I use Hatch green Chile powder; it packs quite a punch! Instead of potatoes, I use masa harina to thicken the soup. Garnishes besides cilantro and sour cream, although I sometimes use plain Greek yogurt include thinly radishes and diced avocado.

    1. deemallon Post author

      I have some beautiful oregano from Rancho Gordo in Napa. I like your idea of including it. And garlic. Thinly
      Sliced radishes and avocado sound delicious. Then we’re really talking meal in a bowl!

  5. Nancy

    This looks so yummy! That carrot looks so good! I agree, a “dollop of sour cream and chopped cilantro” makes things so tasty. I love cilantro. You may like making your own stock, but I kinda like the thought of adding the boxed variety here, for your boys who may or may not have the same time, skill, or desire in their cooking skills 🙂 Young men that they are. My son & wife are vegan…I don’t recall cooking that way at all back in the day, when I cooked. But I wish there was someone to share old recipes with. This is a nice start to a great cooking diary 🙂


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