Recipe Tuesday: The best black bean soup! - Helping Bodies Heal

Recipe Tuesday: The best black bean soup!

Baby its cold outside, at least here in Brooklyn today.  Anything below 50 degrees feels like the perfect weather for soup to me, so given today was only about 30, I was glad I had this soup on hand (it freezes well if you don’t eat it all at once).

I’ve tried lots of black bean soup through the years — some good, some GREAT and some bland and boring.  Without sounding arrogant, I think the one I make can hang with some of the best I’ve had.  It’s the perfect mix of warm, creamy and spicy.  The addition of the fresh cilantro gives it awesome flavor and a hint of freshness while the cubes of avocado are simply the icing on top.  It’s so yummy you won’t miss the sour cream or cheese that’s traditional, making this version gluten and dairy free and packed with flavor, vitamins and nutrients.

This soup takes a little planning ahead since you must soak the dry beans over night in filtered water (preferably).  Soaking beans (some nuts and grains too) helps release the phytic acid which can impair our intestinal lining over time.

Okay, after the beans are soaked you rinse them and add clean water and a few strips of kombu to the pot and start cooking your beans.  If you’re wondering what the heck kombu is, I’ll explain:  it’s a dried seaweed used heavily in Asian cuisine.  Us health nuts use it when we cook beans because it helps aid in the digestion of beans while adding in trace minerals like iodine.

I really hope you try this out and report back what you think.  You can adjust the spiciness by adding or subtracting the jalapeño and cayenne pepper just don’t forget to top your bowls with avocado and cilantro!  And did I mention a big bowl of this soup will keep you full for hours?  Coming from someone who is always hungry, that’s a BIG DEAL! 🙂  That said this soup goes nicely with a fresh green salad!

Inspired by Mollie Katzkn, The New Moosewood Cookbook
  • 2 cups of dry black beans, soaked
  • 6 cups water or veggie stock
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cups onion, diced
  • 10 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 to 2½ teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper (or red bell pepper)
  • 1 jalapeño, seeds and ribs removed, diced
  • 1½ cups orange juice
  • black pepper to taste
  • cayenne pepper to taste
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced (optional)
  • cilantro and avocado for topping
  1. Placed soaked beans in a dutch oven or large pot with a few strips of kombu. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer until tender (about 1¼ hours)
  2. Heat olive oil in a medium sized skillet. Add onion, half the garlic, cumin, salt and carrot. Sauté over medium heat entitle carrot is just tender. Add remaining garlic, jalapeño and bell pepper. Sauté until everything is very tender (another 10 to 15 minutes). Add the sautéed vegetables to the beans.
  3. Stir in the orange juice, black pepper, cayenne and optional tomatoes. Puree all or some of the soup in blender or food processor and return to the pot. Simmer over low heat 10 to 15 minutes more.
  4. Served topped with cilantro and diced avocado.


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