Black bean soup

Published January 4, 2011 6:30PM (EST)


  • 2 cups of dried black beans
  • 10 cups of water
  • 4 cups of chicken stock (optional, can be replaced with water)
  • 4 cloves of garlic (chopped)
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 1 bay leaf (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons of cumin
  • 2 teaspoons of chile powder (preferably chipotle)
  • 2 dried chiles or 1 fresh chile (slit the fresh chile and put it in the pot whole)
  • 2 tablespoons of bacon grease (you can use olive oil instead, or substitute the grease with actual bacon or chorizo)
  • sour cream and chopped red cabbage for garnish
  • salt
  • ½ cup of cilantro or parsley (optional)


  1. Soak beans for a few hours or overnight and drain. (You can do without soaking the beans, but the cooking time will be longer.)
  2. Put 10 cups of water, garlic, cumin, chile powder, chiles, the onion and the bay leaf in a large pot (preferably cast iron).
  3. Bring water to a boil, and then turn down to a low simmer. Simmer until the beans are soft. If fluid runs low during this time, add a little more hot water.
  4. Add bacon grease and/or meat, and stock. If you have parsley or cilantro, add that now, saving some for the garnish. Simmer for another hour or so.
  5. Salt to taste, and purée if desired.
  6. If you have time, let beans cool down for several hours or overnight, and then reheat to serve. Serve beans in broth, topped with sour cream and garnished with chopped red cabbage and parsley or cilantro.

By Be Felisa Rogers

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