Cooking on a Budget

Black Bean Soup

Honestly, I tried to think of a more creative name, utilizing some interesting adjectives and unfortunately, all I could come up with was “Tasty Black Bean Soup” and “Yummy Black Bean Soup” or “Hey, try this good soup!” – yeah, clearly not on a creative path today. My brain is a little fried due to workplace drama and the high stress level involved with creating and giving midterms. I’m not so stressed about my own stuff – I’m organized and all caught up on grading!- but the stress from others is rubbing off on me… On top of that, I’m coming down with a cold. =(

Needless to say, this is the time for a warm, comforting bowl of soup.

Over the weekend, I had lunch with my parents, and came up with this soup. My mom had a recipe from her Williams-Sonoma Soup cookbook, and I looked at it, read it, but as usual, I could not follow directions and just make the soup.

My version of this reminds me of Brazilian feijoada – black bean soup made with spices and tasty meats. But alas, my photo looks absolutely nothing like feijoada if you look it up.

Here’s what I did:


Kat’s Black Bean Soup (adapted from the Williams-Sonoma Soup cookbook)

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 medium onion

2 cloves garlic

2 medium carrots

2-3 stalks of celery

salt & pepper

1/2 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. coriander

1/4 tsp. chili powder (leave it out if you don’t want the heat)

1 slice deli ham, chopped

splash of sherry vinegar

2 tablespoons of tomato paste

2 cans black beans (drained and rinsed)

4 cups chicken stock

handful of flatleaf parsley

  1. Add the oil to a soup pot and let it heat up (temp = medium)
  2. Chop the onion, carrots, and celery – don’t worry to much about the cuts since you will blend it at the end.
  3. Smash the garlic and add it to the pan with the other veggies
  4. Season with salt & pepper, then let the veggies sweat for about 5 minutes
  5. Add the spices and stir to coat the veggies – it’s ok, in fact, it’s awesome if they get a little caramelized
  6. Push the veggies to the sides of the pan, making a hole in the middle
  7. Put the ham into the hole in the middle and let it caramelize a little bit
  8. Deglaze the pan with the sherry vinegar and be sure to scrape up any brown bits
  9. Stir in the tomato paste
  10. Add the black beans and stir again
  11. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil, then
  12. Toss in the parsley and let it wilt
  13. Using a stick blender, blend the soup in the pot
  14. Serve with bread

I didn’t blend it completely, so it still had a bit of texture – no mush allowed! (Unless, of course, you want it! If you do, cook the soup until the black beans are soft, and blend the soup til smooth.)

Whenever I make a soup, I think of Natty (my roommate when we lived in Madrid) telling our Ecuadorian maid that “we have teeth” and “we like texture” (jaja) – Natty, I think you’d like this one. =)


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  • Kat S.

    Don’t you love that canned beans are so cheap?! And so nutritious. Somehow we are always running out, though. I need to take the plunge and stock up so we don’t run out =)

  • Natty!

    Haha yes totally! I like to bite (because I couldn’t think of the word for chew!!)

    Haha so my friend was visiting the other week and we made a curried butternut squash soup and blended it but def overblended as it was too much like Paco’s soups. Totally thought of the same thing when I was eating it. Yummy but again I do like using my teeth!!!

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