Sunday, January 15, 2012

Black Bean Soup Revisited

I discovered this  delicious black bean soup last winter and have now made it countless times. I've had it on the menu for two weeks in a row, and both weeks I made it on Saturday afternoon. It's a perfect Saturday afternoon soup, because I have found that it is best when stewed for about 45 minutes to an hour (there's usually no patience for that on a weeknight) and it makes nice leftovers for the rest of the weekend.  However, to make it even better, I've been modifying the recipe in cooking method and ingredient ratio and lucky you, I kept track of my changes this time.  Here's what I've come up with so far.

5 slices bacon
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
32 oz. chicken broth
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1.5 cans diced tomatoes with green chiles
1.5 tsp chili powder
1.5 tsp cumin
1/2 cup frozen corn*
2 Tbsp sour cream

cook the bacon in a dutch oven or large soup pot.  while bacon is cooking mince the onion and garlic in a food processor.  when bacon is brown, remove and set aside.  chop into small pieces later.

add onions and garlic to pot (which should be generously coated with bacon grease-- if you prefer to omit the bacon just add a splash of olive oil). when onions are soft add the broth, beans, diced tomatoes, chili powder and cumin. cover and bring to a boil.

once soup has come to a boil, reduce heat and remove lid.  allow soup to simmer on medium low until it reaches desired thickness. if you like your soup more soupy, just allow it to simmer for 10-15 minutes or so to let the flavors combine.  I like it to be thicker, so I let my soup simmer for about 45 minutes while some of that liquid evaporates and the flavors mingle.

add the corn and chopped bacon at the last fifteen minutes. 
add the sour cream at the last 5 minutes.

*My Secret Weapon!!  I recommend using Iowa sweet corn that was purchased at it's peak and frozen on a thoughtful afternoon, but fully admit I am totally biased on the corn opinion.  

AND another variation....
Cara made it  in a crockpot this week!

Black Bean soup in a crockpot.

I made this in my tiny 2 quart crockpot. I adapted the recipe, basically halving most ingredients, using 1 can black beans, but sticking with the one full can of diced tomatoes. I threw everything in the crockpot (except the lime and cream) then filled to top with chicken stock (maybe 1.5 or 2 cups?). Stewed it on high for 6 hours. Served with a squeeze of lime and a dollop of whole fat yogurt. This made about 4 generous bowls, and it was delicious!

Try this soup. Tell us what you think and how YOU made it!  


  1. This sounds so good. I agree with you on the corn thing. My dad always does this with his sweetcorn and it's the only corn we use for cooking in recipes. It's the best. I'll have to try this recipe soon.

    1. Frozen sweet corn is the bomb. I felt like a crazy person going through the check-out lane with a cart full of corn. It took forever to cut all the kernels away from their cobs, but eating leftovers of this soup just now and tasting that sweet August corn was worth it.