I’ve made some improvements to our black bean soup recipe. First, I substituted more basic ingredients for the can of tomato soup so that I have tighter control over the flavors. I also have found a pureeing technique that has improved the texture. Reserving some of the stock until after the beans are pureed gives a smoother texture. It’s a small change that makes a big difference – thanks for the idea, Americas Test Kitchens! (I saw the technique discussed on their tomato soup episode).
Our current favorite way to serve this is with “quesadilla dippers” – quesadillas cut into thin strips that get dunked into the soup.
- 1 pound black beans, rinsed and separated (remove debris and broken beans)
- 2 T. butter
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1-2 ribs celery, chopped
- 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/2 tsp. paprika
- 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 2 tsp. cumin
- 1 can chopped green chiles
- A 28-oz. can pureed tomatoes
- 4 cups stock (vegetable or chicken), divided
- Black Pepper
- Juice of 1 lime
- In a large stockpot, cover beans with water. Leave to soak overnight. If you are doing this the day of, bring the stockpot to a boil, boil for 2 minutes, then cover and turn off heat. Allow beans to sit, covered, for one hour.
- Drain beans and set aside. Rinse stockpot.
- Melt the butter on medium-low heat, then add onions, carrots and celery with a pinch of salt. Cook until the onions turn translucent
- Add garlic and dry spices. Cook for a bit to toast the spices, but be careful not to burn the garlic.
- Add the tomato puree, beans, and enough stock to almost cover all of the beans (1-2 cups).
- Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer until the beans are soft (usually 2-3 hours).
- Allow mixture to cool (overnight is best – soup is always better the next day). Then, puree the soup in batches using a blender or food processor.
- Transfer pureed soup to the stock pot and start to reheat. Add stock gradually, stirring to incorporate completely before adding more, until the desired consistency is reached.
- Taste and adjust seasoning. You will probably need to add more salt.
- Stir in the lime juice just before removing the soup from the heat.