Classic Black Bean Soup
Spring is suppose to be around the corner but tell that to my constantly cold extremities! It’s been freezing all week and its the end of February and I’m really hoping that march brings warmer temperatures. The likelihood of that happening is slim considering it is Canada, so let the soup season and all the cozy eats continue.
You know how much I love soups and one soup that I didn’t have on the blog yet was a classic bean black bean soup. A soup that I totally love so I had to get it on here. I love black bean soup that has some smokiness to it, is rich in flavour not just beans, and it must have a slight bit of heat. I have combined 3 recipes to create the one below and it is super tasty friends, and had my kitchen smelling amazing while it cooked. One sample bite after I took the lid off the pressure cooker and I knew this was the version going on the blog.
Let talk ingredients or more specifically the beans. I know you may be tempted to fast track and use canned beans, but if you want a super tasty soup do not use canned black beans. That really does go for any soup or stew that calls for beans. I know we are all busy and don’t have time to cook beans, but believe me when I tell you it’s worth it. I chose Bob’s Red Mill Premium Quality Black Turtle Beans for this soup because I love them. They cook up predictably delicious every time. Perfectly tender, mild and subtlety sweet, and always a high quality product as expected when it comes to Bob’s Red Mill. Bob’s Red Mill offers the largest lines of organic, whole grain food in the country. All of their products are certified Kosher and made with ingredients grown from non-GMO seeds.
How to cook beans
The instructions on the back of the package are basically what I do when it comes to all dried beans I cook. The instructions call for washing and soaking your beans. It’s a debatable matter as I heard some of the cool kids aren’t soaking anymore but there is good reason to soak your beans. I soak mine to help the beans cook faster, plus soaking them is suppose to breakdown some of the complex sugars that can make beans hard to digest for many. It’s not a difficult thing to do and makes a difference. All it takes is some planning as it is best to soak them the night before you want to cook them.
One of the favourite ways to cook bean soup is to use a pressure cooker or any of the multi-cookers out there with the pressure cooker feature in them. What usually takes two hours of simmering takes 20 minutes. A pressure cooker is a life saver and brings this soup to the table in no time. I have the instructions below for stove top cooking with no pressure cooker if you don’t have on or if you just want to cook your bean soup low and slow.
This soup is delicious on its own but we know that a big part of it is all the toppings. I have mine loaded with fresh toppings. I love mine served with some rice and hubby loves his with tortilla chips. I love to prepare and chop all the toppings and load them up taco-night style. I serve the soup out in bowls and then everyone gets to choose the toppings they want on it. This is our favourite black bean soup recipe and know that it will become yours too. If you try it let me know! Leave a comment, rate it and don’t forget to tag me in your photo on Instagram.
I have partnered up with Bob’s Red Mill to bring you this fabulous recipe, but all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting Olive & Mango.
Time: Soak dried beans overnight
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 40 minutes
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 8 oz. slab or thick-cut bacon, cut into ¼ inch pieces
- 1 large red onion diced - plus an extra ½ of a red onion for pickled onions
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 stalks of celery chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
- 2 plus ½ tsp salt divided
- 1 cup of red wine
- 3 canned chipotle chiles in adobo, sliced plus any liquid/paste from them
- 2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- ½ tsp smoked paprika (2 tsp if not including bacon for extra smokiness)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 lb. dried black beans, picked over, rinsed and soaked overnight
- 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
- Sour cream, corn chips, cilantro leaves, lime wedges, avocado, and fresh chilli’s (for serving)
- Heat olive oil in a stove top pressure cooker on medium-high heat and then sauté bacon, stirring occasionally, until browned and most of the fat is released, 6–8 minutes. (If using a multi-cooker use Sauté setting)
- Add chopped onion, carrots, celery and garlic to pot, season with a big pinch of salt, and continue to sauté stirring occasionally and scraping bottom of pot, until vegetables are softened but haven’t taken on colour, 6–8 minutes.
- Add the wine and allow to simmer for a couple minutes until reduced
- Add chiles along with their liquid, oregano, bay leaves, smoked paprika and cumin to pot and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add beans, 2 tsp. salt, and 8 cups of water or broth.
- Lock lid on pressure cooker or multi-cooker and cook soup at high pressure 20 minutes. Release pressure manually. Taste soup and season with more salt if needed.
- Meanwhile make your pickled red onions. Thinly slice ½ of a red onion and transfer to a small bowl.
- Add lime juice and remaining ½ tsp. salt.
- Let sit, tossing occasionally, until ready to use.
- Using an immersion blender, purée soup in pot until it’s partially smooth leaving ¼ to ½ of the beans in tact for added texture according to taste or, purée it all until smooth working in batches with a regular blender
- Divide soup among bowls.
- Top with sour cream, cilantro, avocado, sliced chilli’s and drained pickled onions.
- Serve with lime wedges for squeezing over and serve with corn/tortilla chips or rice.
* If you do not have a multi-cooker or pressure cooker - no problem. Cook the soup in a regular heavy bottom soup pot the same way as directions outline and allow the simmer until tender 1½-2 hours adding more water or broth if needed while the beans cook stirring occasionally.
* To make it meatless just omit the bacon and amp up the smokiness with some extra smoked paprika as noted in the recipe
* To make it non alcoholic just omit the wine and substitute with more broth or water
* This soup freezes well. Allow to cool completely and then transfer to plastic freezer bags, mason jars, or plastic container, leaving a least 1-2 inches of space from seal for expansion. It can keep frozen for up to 3 months. Defrost it overnight in the fridge and reheat on the stove top.