Mexican Black Bean Soup
- Saturday, March 20th, 2010
- 29 Comments
I was first inspired to come up with a recipe for black bean soup after listening to friends and family. While they all love black bean soup, they told me that every time they try to cook it themselves it turns out terrible. Sometimes it was too watery, while other times the flavors were just off. Since I had never made black bean soup, I could not give them any advice. I am not someone to turn down a good challenge, so off to the kitchen I went.
Using canned beans is very convenient for this recipe. One of the problems with most cans is a compound called BPA (Bisphenol A) that leeches into the food. BPA has been found in increasing levels in human fat tissue and even new born babies. BPA has been associated with health risks in certain studies. It is therefore a good idea to limit BPA consumption as much as possible, especially when you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Luckily, there are some BPA-free canned products. For beans I always use Eden organics beans. They are also salt-free!
Black bean soup magic
This is where it gets interesting. Within the past couple of weeks I have made this soup about eight times in order to perfect it. Luckily, Mark likes it so much that he is not sick off it yet. But my point is that every single time it is different. Even if the spices I throw in there are identical! Ok, once I forgot the bay leaves and another time the tomato paste… But I know that at least twice the ingredients were identical. I think.
Another interesting thing about it is that every time I make it I say: “Oh, but it was better last time”. It’s the black bean soup magic, the memory of the soup just keeps on getting better.☺
Cooking TipThere are huge differences in flavor intensity between different spices. It depends on the quality and freshness of the spices. You might want to adjust the seasoning. This is one of these recipes where you can’t get out of tasting your food as you cook if you want optimal results. Throw in more bay leaves if you can’t taste them or use more chipotle powder.
Mexican Black Bean Soup
Makes 6 Servings
- 1. Chop the onion, crush the garlic, rinse the beans and prepare the spice mix.
- 2. Over medium heat saute the onion with some of the broth and the bay leaves until translucent. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant.
- 3. Add all of the broth. Take out a cup of the beans and save (if you want some whole beans in there). Puree the rest with some of the broth until smooth. Add the beans to the soup. Bring to a boil.
- 4. Add all the spices, the tomato paste and stir well.
- 5. Let the soup cook uncovered until it reaches the desired thickness. Even though it might look very liquid at this time it will thicken over time. Stir occasionally and make sure the bottom does not burn. You may want to adjust the heat.
- 6. Add sherry and adjust the seasoning if necessary (more salt?, more spices? more heat?)
- 7. Add the frozen corn (if using) and heat for a couple of minutes.
- 8. Stir in ½ Tbsp into each serving of soup. Add toppings and serve!
What is chipotle powder?A Chipotle pepper is a dry, smoked chili pepper. It is very spicy and has a distinct flavor. While I am sure you can buy it in powdered form in some places, it is widely available as whole peppers. You can grind it up yourself (take seeds out first, if you want a milder powder) and store it in a little jar. Alternatively you can just put a whole chili in your food. Much like bay leaves, it will flavor the soup and give it additional depth and smokiness.
I like to serve the black bean soup with some finely diced bell peppers. Fresh cilantro would also be a nice addition.Enjoy this soup as long as it is still a little chilly outside! ☺ Soon the last thing we want is a nice bowl of hot soup… – Christina
Mark says:Seeing this recipe posted is bittersweet… of course I am happy that you will be able to eat such delicious soup, but it also means Christina will stop trying to perfect the recipe. She’s made this many times over the past month, and it’s been delicious every time. The soup is extremely satisfying with or without goodies (corn, peppers, etc.). This is definitely one of my favorite soups and I really hope it becomes one of our regulars!
per serving with cornCalories: 310, Fat: 9g, GL: 9.5, Fiber: 13g, Protein: 15g, Carbohydrates: 33g
per serving without cornCalories: 285, Fat: 9g, GL: 6.8, Fiber: 12g, Protein: 14g, Carbohydrates: 27g