Black Bean Soup

Adapted fromĀ 1,000 Vegetarian Recipes

Black bean soup makes a high-protein, high-fiber vegetarian meal. A side of corn muffins and a salad make it complete. Because the beans need to be soaked and the soup must simmer for a long time, you’ll want to save this for a lazy weekend afternoon when you have a bit of time to relax while this soup bubbles away on the stove.

  • 1 cup dried black beans, rinsed and picked over
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onions
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • For serving:
  • Cilantro
  • Light sour cream
  • Lime wedges
  • Salsa
  • To prepare the black beans, place them in a saucepan with 4 cups of cold water. Bring to a vigorous boil over high heat, then reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to stand for 1 hour. Drain the beans and set aside.
  • In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, bell pepper and garlic and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the water and bring to a boil. Add the beans, carrots, celery, celery leaves and bay leaves. Return to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer uncovered for 2 hours, or until beans are tender. Discard bay leaves and allow to cool slightly.
  • To puree the soup, place it in a food processor (be sure to allow steam to escape to avoid an explosion) and process until very smooth. Soup should be thick. Finally, add salt, pepper and cumin. Taste seasoning and adjust if necessary. Serve with toppings.
  • Quick Tips
  • 1. I’d love to figure out a simple way to make this soup using canned black beans to reduce the cooking time. Most of the flavor in the soup comes from the long cooking time, so the trick is to figure out how to get that slow-cooked flavor without actually cooking the soup all afternoon. If you are tempted to remake this recipe using canned, please post a comment here and let me know what you did and how it turned out.
  • 2. I typically like my black bean soup pureed. I tried this soup before it was pureed and thought it was good, but once I ran it through the food processor it went from good to great. Blending it allows the flavors to come together in a way I really enjoyed.
  • 3. I added the cumin at the very end. I had finished pureeing the soup and it still needed something. In the future, I will add the cumin in the first step with the onions, garlic and peppers and allow it to cook in.
  • 4. After taking all that time to make this beautiful soup, we had no leftovers and I was disappointed. Next time, I’ll make a double batch so we can enjoy it for dinner then I can take it to work for lunch the next day.

Preparation time: 1 hour(s) 15 minute(s)

Cooking time: 2 hour(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

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