Smoky Black Bean Soup

Smoky Black Bean Soup

Having moved into my new house a week ago today, this soup is the first edible thing besides Red’s Chinese to hit my kitchen counter.  

Truth is, most of my kitchen is still packed up in boxes and stacked in the guest room.  Two things:  I have so much SO MUCH kitchen stuff and I (who formally has lived in 600 st ft apartments) have a guest room!  Kitchen things and guest room things do not belong together so I’ve got to get it sorted somehow.  

I need a pantry system before I commit to opening another box.  I need Tracy to come help me know what goes where (See:  Shuterbean’s Pantry Organization).  I need NEED to find at least one of my three wine openers.  Good grief!  

Smoky Black Bean Soup

Soups on.  Every new home needs three things:  a pot of soup, a loaf of banana bread, and the dang wine opener.  Soup first.  

A friend ordered a smoky tequila cocktail on Sunday, and instantly this smoky soup popped in my brain.  I dug out my soup pot, somehow found my salt dish, and got a few new savory ingredients to play with:  Smoky Chipotle Paste and Liquid Smoke

Smoky Black Bean Soup

Here’s what we’re working with: 

  •  Soaked black beans  (Dried beans are the way to go!  Just soak them overnight)
  • Lots of fresh garlic, onions, bell pepper, and celery.  
  • Jalapeno for spice
  • Chipotle paste, cumin, and liquid smoke for loads of flavor.  
  • Chicken stock. Coffee, too (in my morning mug and also in the soup).  

Black beans can take a lot of flavor  Don’t be scared. 

Smoky Black Bean Soup

Sautéed vegetables and slightly softened beans.  I added chicken stock and a cup of coffee for intrigue and depth.  Feel free to use vegetable stock and skip the coffee if you’re vegetarian or suspicious.  

The soup is simmered until the beans are good and soft, just over an hour.  Liquid smoke is added and the soup is blended until as smooth as possible.  I added more water and chicken stock as I blended the soup just to create a more soupy soup.  

Smoky Black Bean Soup

Toppings are key:  

  •  White rice
  • Guacamole, definitely do it. 
  • Fresh fried tortillas
  • Fried plantains for sweetness

Smoky Black Bean Soup

It’s a fine first lunch with a cold Goose Island Beer and a counter seat among the boxes.  

For other soup endeavors, see:  Spicy Vegetarian Tortilla Soup.

I’ll let you know when the pantry is organized and the wine opener is located.  Please send an adult, that will certainly expedite things.  

Smoky Black Bean Soup
Serves 6
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Prep Time
24 hr
Prep Time
24 hr
  1. 1 pound dried black beans (soaked overnight)
  2. 3 tablespoons canola oil
  3. 1 small onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  4. 3 celery stalks, diced
  5. 1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and diced (about a heaping 1/2 cup)
  6. 1/2 seeded and diced jalapeno
  7. 2 or 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  8. 2 tablespoons chipotle paste
  9. 3 teaspoons ground cumin
  10. 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  11. 1 cup black coffee
  12. 1 bay leaf
  13. salt and pepper to taste
  14. a few dashes of liquid smoke, to taste
  15. more hot water or stock to thin the soup
For topping
  1. cooked white rice
  2. guacamole
  3. fried tortillas
  4. pan-fried plantains
  5. sour cream
  1. Rinse beans and pick through, using your super vision to pick out any pebbles or stones. Place beans in a large bowl or pot and cover with water 2-inches above the beans. Cover and allow to rest overnight (or for at least 6 hours). After soaking, drain in the beans and rinse in a colander.
  2. To make the soup, in a large stock pot heat oil over medium heat. Add the onions, bell pepper, and celery and saute until softened and just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and jalapeno and saute for 3 minutes more.
  3. Add the chipotle paste and cumin. Stir until thoroughly combined.
  4. Add the soaked and drained beans. Add the chicken broth, coffee, and bay leaf. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until the beans are very well softened, about 1 hour. Remove from heat.
  5. Use a hand blender to blend the soup to smooth. Add more hot water or stock as necessary to thin the soup. If you don't have a hand blender, blend the soup in batches in a stand blender, being careful not to fill it too full. Add more water or stock to thin if necessary.
  6. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in liquid smoke to taste. Serve warm with all sorts of toppings.
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