Black Bean Soup

Total Time:
2 hr 20 min
20 min
2 hr

4 to 6 servings

  • 1 pound dried black beans
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 onions, roughly chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 bunch fresh cilantro
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 smoked ham hock
  • 1 jalapeno, split
  • 1 3/4 quarts low-sodium chicken stock
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Crema:
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest
  • Lime wedges, for garnish
  • Cilantro sprigs, for garnish

Pick through the beans and discard any debris - wash under cold running water. In a food processor, add garlic, onion, bell pepper, and cilantro.

Set a large pot over medium heat and add a 3-count of olive oil. Add the oregano and cumin. Add vegetable puree and saute until just fragrant, 7 to 10 minutes. Add beans, ham hock, jalapeno, and stock. Slightly cover and simmer for 2 hours until beans are tender.

When cooked, remove bay leaves and take out ham hock. Cut ham meat off the bone, cut into pieces and set aside.

Using a blender or immersion blender, puree just enough of the beans and stock (about a third of the total pot) to thicken up the soup and bring everything together. Season with salt and pepper and fold ham meat back into the soup.

Make the crema by combining sour cream and zest. Serve each soup with a spoonful of lime crema, a squeeze of lime and some fresh cilantro.

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    I like!
    Excellent! Very close to the best black bean soup I've ever eaten. My family loved it. I won't look further for another recipe. Made no changes to the recipe when I prepared it but there is room for tweaking if it's not just right for your taste and texture.
    Great! This worked out so good. Fairly easy to make, and tasted great. I did soak my beans over night though, thats how I was taught. p/s It makes alot so invite your freinds over.
    Excellent recipe, I made it as directed and it was wonderful. Started with dried beans and the remains of a ham bone. Then I did the unthinkable, I added 8 oz of velveeta cheese to the pot! Very tasty and the whole pot was gone by the end of the day. You don't have to tell anyone what you did!
    This is the best Black Bean Soup I have ever made? Even my daughter comfirms, rating it above any restaurant soup we have ever tasted.
    I made this for my family, and all 5 of us loved it!!! My daughters, who don't like black bean soup loved it!!! It has become a staple meal around our house. The cuban sandwich and plantain chips make a fabulous meal. I used dried beans, and all of mine were cooked fine.
    While this recipe was delicious I would not necesarily say it is Cuban black bean soup. Being Cuban I can say that Cubans do not use either Jalapeno or Cilantro in their cooking. These ingredients give the soup more of a Mexican feel. The crema was a great addition but again this is not an element of authentic Cuban cooking.
    Excellent and very easy!
    If you are visually impaired- this is the soup for you. It tastes wonderful and has a great complex flavor, but looks revolting. The texture did not turn out well, I had no problem with the beans being hard, but the texture was like much.
    I made this soup tonight and thought it was absolutely delicious! A lot of posters are having trouble with the beans, I followed instructions for the beans and mine were fine. I got a crunchy bean or two in my bowlful, but that is to be expected. Only thing I can figure is people 'simmered' too low which made for longer cook times. Canned beans would be great if you are short on time, I just prefer the cost/salt control of dried beans. One poster mentioned that he used fresh beans in the episode and i watched it too and didn't see that, in fact he picked through the beans as you do with dried ones. I dried oregano because I didn't want to buy fresh and also disposed of the ham hock as mine was more greasey than meaty. Also used homemade pickled jalepenos (about 2 TBSP, minced) because I was out of fresh. This recipe is a keeper!
    Just FYI, though all of the seasonings are what you would find in Cuban black beans, the jalapeno is definitely a Mexican food thing....
    Followed recipe exactly with the exception of the beans. We made the recipe exactly and then made it a second time BUT used canned black beans. The result...almost identical flavor but canned beans gave a softer texture. FYI.
    I thought it was funny that most comments were about the I titled this 'get over the beans' add some humor. The soup was good...I enjoyed the comments about adding red peper flakes because when I came back from the store I had forgot the hot pepper and was not about to go back. I added more cumin and found the puree to add some 'body' and smoothness to the soup. Thought it was good.
    I was actually looking for a recipe for the 10 bean/barley mix I bought at Sprouts when I came across this. I followed it pretty well, using the 10 bean mix, but did not puree anythihg, didn't have any green pepper handy, minced the seeded jalepeno, and bypassed the bayleaf since it was mentioned too late. My DH has asked that I add more ham next time and that I make this dish a staple for our winter menu, along with chili, taco soup, beef stew, chicken soup, and a pork/posole recipe my MIL gave me that is to die for. My DH is crazy about how this turned out. I feel incredibly successful. And Tyler is a genius!
    This was so simple and delicious. No need to soak the beans. The cumin added just the right touch of spice.
    Chef Maggie
    We watched the episode and created a whole dinner party themed around the recipes from the show. While the soup was good, it wasn't fabulous. I soaked the beans for 12 hours and cooked the soup for 4 hours and still had some crunchy beans. Needed to add a lot of salt. Might try again with some other variations - the lime crema was a wonderful touch!!
    I usually read reviews before trying a recipe from FN but since I was in a hurry I just followed the recipe (it helped that I watched the episode).
    The soup turned out fantastic!!! I didn't change a thing and I didn't soak the beans. It took slightly longer than the 2 hours but not by much.
    My family absolutely loved it!! Should have doubled the recipe as there were no leftovers.
    I saw this episode on tv this afternoon and as soon as it was over I had to go to the store to buy the ingredients to make it even though I normally don't like black beans. It did NOT disappoint. I don't like cooking with dry beans so I bought canned for the sake of time. I used 4 (16oz.) cans of black beans with the juice. Also, instead of the ham hock I used about 5 slices of salt pork chopped up and cooked crisp. I omitted the olive oil since I used the fat released from the salt pork. The lime crema is wonderful. In addition to the zest, I stirred in the juice of half a lime. It was wonderful. I felt like a rockstar when I tasted what I was able to pull off. Hands down the best black bean soup I've ever had. It's not hard to get over the issue of the dry beans so don't hesitate to give this a try.
    I am going to give this soup a 5 Star because I have made one like it in the past and loved it. I am watching this show now and realized that he used fresh not dried black beans (which is why he didn't soak them). I agree with the person who said that Food Network Edtors need to review the recipes to make sure they are correct. Hopefully most cooks would realize that you need to soak the dried beans.
    I came across this recipe while looking for a Beignet recipe. I make can cook Cuban black beans in my sleep and no matter what I hear they are ALWAYS incredibly delicious and creamy, That being said I looked at the ingredients for this recipe and was immediately befuddled. My grandmother who lived in Cuba and had my mom there ( the rest of the family from before are from Spain and the Canary Islands). Cuban black bean recipes have many variations depending from what part of Cuba you are from. I could not find anyone who heard of crema fresca or heat in their black bean soup. We Cubans use many, many spices in our black bean soup. Cumin being one of the most common but not always necessary according to where you are from. The ham hock is never used in black bean soup. It is ONLY use IN white, navy, kidney or pinto bean soups. It is also used in garbanzo bean soup. This recipe was delicious but where exactly is it from? I would like to know?
    bay leaf???? what bay leaf.....the recipe never tells you to put bay leaf in it, yet alone how many. FN recipe writers don't get any stars from me.
    This recipe was great! I loved how it calls to puree 1/3 of the beans to thicken up the sauce... it really seperates it from other boring black bean soup recipes. If you didnt soak your beans overnight(which i didnt wanna wait!) try a quick soak method using your pressure cooker.... it only took 5 extra min. and my beans were perfectly tender after following this recipe exaclty. Love Tylers Ultimate havent had a bad meal from the show yet!
    I agree with everyone...soak beans overnight or buy canned beans if you don't have the time. This black bean soup was AWESOME! The jalpeno pepper with the seeds provided just enough heat without being overwhelming. I blended 1/2 of the soup instead of just 1/3. The lime sour cream is a wonderful topper for this soup. My family truly enjoyed this recipe and it was better the next day as leftovers too.
    I pondered how to rate this recipe. The people at food network MUST do a better job of writing up these recipes. The ingredients for this recipe wasn't to pricey but sometimes they screw up recipes where your spending $50 or more on ingredients to make whatever your trying to make. This is beyond frustrating. Sometimes you don't know if you should rate a recipe as aweful (when its actually a good recipe) because the people at foodnetwork screwed up the chef's recipe. Maybe they should make the chef write their own recipes. I don't know but they need to do something to correct this situation. If you make this recipe without soaking the beans overnight this recipe is going to be absolutely aweful. Your going to have "hard" bean soup. With that being said i soaked hte beans overnight and i still cooked the soup for 3-3.5 hours because the beans were still tuff afer 2 hours. Newbie cooks would not know they had to soak the beans before cooking

    Ok with that behind i thought the soup was ok. Not much different than the other bean soups ive tasted in the past. The only slight modification i made to it i made was to use chipotle rather than jalapenos. Also after running an immersion blender through the soup it wasn't quite thick as i like so i just used a little masa harina + water to thicken the soup up a little more.
    Just got done making this for the second time, here's the adjustments I made in order to spend less prep time and taste was fantastic.

    Don't puree the veggies, just chop them fine, they will dissolve.
    Simmer for five hours, not two, if you didn't plan ahead with bean soaking.
    Once the soup is ready, throw the ham hock in the garbage. The first time I made this I could barely eat it because the visual of the pig knuckle was revolting despite the great taste it provided.
    I forgot to buy a jalapeno, so I used about a 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, provided a wonderful kick.
    Also didn't have limes, so just used some creme fraiche and sprinkled a little chopped cilantro on top for flavor and color.

    Since I know that beans must be soaked overnight, I had no problem.
    I also noted that bay leaves were not on the ingredient list, but in the recipe ? big deal.
    Before you start any recipe, you should always read through it at least once, so you know how to plan.

    I did not seed the jalapeno as I like it hot, so it was quite mild (for me), making it good for company (not everyone likes it hot!).

    Absolutely LOVE the lime sour cream. It totally makes the dish (that and a margarita made with the rest of the lime juice).

    I will make this again.
    It still amazes me how the FN doesn't have a quality control person who verifies the recipes on the website vs. the actual cooking show. I'm glad that I took notes while watching the program.

    Normally, I read the reviews before trying a new recipe but I didn't think this recipe was too complicated. I'm glad that I read the instructions on the bag of black beans because everyone else had a problem with the beans not being tender (I soaked mine for 8 hours.)

    Your house will instantly smell wonderful once the cumin and oregano hit the olive oil in the pot. My only true complaint is that it needs a little heat. Next time, I will not remove the ribs and seeds from the jalapeno and maybe I will use two instead of one. I will find some ways to improve on a good recipe. The lime creme was delicious! I also served my soup with grated cheddar cheese and Fritos Scoops. It was a satifying meal.
    This is a good recipe. With beans it will always be better if you soak overnight, the quick soaking sometimes works others do not (probably due to the variety/quality of the bean. The cuban version of this is just like this without the cilantro. One note to the reviewer that indicated this freezes well, there was a famous restaurant in Havana where they freezed all black beans for a minimum of 30 days. It improves the flavor - you can freeze for months and they will be fine.

    Gustavo, Miami FL
    This was really GOOD soup, I just had leftovers, yum! I did use canned beans, because I had them so I didn't cook as long. The sour cream,,,fabulous!
    Soak the beans for about three hours , then the recipe is totally delicious. The secret is the Sofrito and putting the spices in the oil at the very beginning. Great flavor and consistancy along with a very easy recipe. Will make it again and again.

    Rick C.
    Fort Myers, Fl.
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    Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen