Black Bean Soup

Back in college, a great local cafe stayed opened into the wee hours ladling up their version of this stuff. The first time I slurped some[ of it down after midnight, I decided to make black bean soup my own tradition. Mine is hearty and smoky, and if it's lying around, I'll also throw in a can of beer for good taste and in keeping with the spirit of a good night on the town. Like the onion soup, you'll want to make this ahead of time so you're not faced with the prep-work when you and your friends just want to kick back and chow down after a long night. Using smoked bacon makes all the difference in the world because those beans are just begging for that rich, smoky flavor.]

Total Time:
40 min
15 min
25 min

8 to 10 servings

  • 10 slices bacon, finely chopped
  • 2 medium onions, chopped (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 6 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups canned chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 4 (15 1/2-ounce) cans black beans, drained but not rinsed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • Thinly sliced scallions, for garnish
  • Sour cream, for garnish
  • Grated cheddar, for garnish

Put the bacon into a large heavy pot and place it over medium heat. Cook until it starts to give up its fat, about 4 minutes. Stir in the onions and cook, stirring, until they start to turn translucent, about 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until you can smell it, about 1 minute. Add the broth, tomatoes, ketchup, Worcestershire, and chili powder. Stir in the beans, turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Adjust the heat so the soup is bubbling gently and cook 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, pick off all the thick stems from the cilantro. Wash it and shake dry. Chop the cilantro coarsely and stir it into the soup when it has been simmering 10 minutes. cook until the soup is thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the lime juice. Serve with the garnishes.

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Pairs Well With

Crisp, refreshing light beer

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4.8 376
This is so good and pretty easy to make too. It's so delicious you don't even need the garnishes. Recommend you double the recipe to allow for leftovers. We've tried it both using an immersion blender and not using an immersion blender and prefer the chunkier version. Pairs well with corn bread and a salad. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Consider liquefying a portion of the soup and recombining. 1/3 to 1/2 should do the trick depending on what you want the thickness to beans ratio to be. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Such an easy recipe for a great soup. I deviated a bit based on what I had on hand, so after using canned fire roasted tomatoes and regular chicken broth, I found the recipe to be a tad too salty. Didn't need to add additional salt. One of those times when what I thought were my small deviations from a solid recipe made a less than preferred difference. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This, to me, tastes like watered down baked beans. The bacon makes it too sweet and smoky. Maybe the ketchup makes it too sweet, too. I like hearty black bean soups, and this isn't one of them. I (accidentally) made it twice, and both times it turned out the same. If you like a sweetish soup that tastes a lot like baked beans, you might like this. If you like a rich, hearty bean soup, try almost any other recipe on Food Nework's website. Most are great! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Alas, the only black bean soup recipe you will ever need! Only changes I made was adding freshly ground ginger, chopped jalapenos, and subbing a fresh ham hock for bacon. I blended half in my NutriNinja. Incredible flavor, and the ketchup is the surprise ingredient that makes you think "what is that!" Will be making again for sure, might try the slow cooker next time. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is my third time making the recipe and I just had to give it 5 stars again. It's become a regular in our house! The bacon is a great component. My husband preferred that it was removed from the fat and added in chunks and pieces later at the end. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Yummy and quick. An immersion blender is a must to perfect the texture. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Drained and rinsed the beans (less gassy that way), sliced the onions to keep them chunky, used 2 cans of chicken stock, used a can of fire roasted tomatoes, and tripled the chili powder. A few pulses with the immersion blender thickens it up but still keeps it hearty. Served it with sliced avocado, scallions, and sour cream. Very flavorful! The bacon gives it a nice smokey flavor. Definite wow factor here! item not reviewed by moderator and published
WOW, this is better than any I have had in a restaurant! I used a 15 oz. can of fire roasted tomatoes undrained instead of chopped, then briefly hit it with an immersion blender. Amazing! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Fantastic! I used a lb. bag of dried black beans vs. 4 cans of beans. I soaked them w/ 2 TBSP. of oil overnight w/ plenty of water for expansion. I cooked the beans in a pressure cooker for 15 minutes w/ the addition of 2 TBSP. of oil, TBSP. of organic low sodium chicken broth (paste), and a stalk of celery and an onion chopped slightly for easy removal. I had turkey bacon on hand and used it. item not reviewed by moderator and published

Not what you're looking for? Try:

Pumpkin and Black Bean Soup

Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray