Black Bean Soup!

Let me share this post with you about the time that we did a soup diet. We thought it would be cute or fun to eat soup for five days and to blog about it. The other soups were a little bit, you know, "meh" but this one, in all it's shiny, black gem-ed glory was something special.  We are remaking it today, veganised (recipe at end of post).

Originally we made this soup on the hob, but we have recently bought a new slow cooker so we simmered the beans first, removing the scum as it rises to the top (this scum contains the enzymes that make beans, ahem, windy). We then transferred the beans to the slow cooker and simmered them for a few hours on high, before adding the other ingredients.

"I am not ashamed to tell you that I am a bit sick of soup now. For five days straight we have eschewed regular meals in favour of liquefied meals. I know that you have all enjoyed reading about our five days of soup, but really. Imagine eating just soup for 120 hours. Not literally 120 hours, obviously that would surely give us some kind of Guinness Book of Records award, but every, single night for five days! What was I thinking? Last night all I wanted for dinner was Mashed Potato.
“Can’t we have mashed potato?” I begged Paul, imploringly.
“No! We said five days of soup and that’s what we’re gonna do.”
"Mashed Potato Soup?"
And now, here I sit, Friday night beverage in hand, ice cubes chinking, writing about our final soup of the week.
Surely, I hear you cry, you must have made something startlingly brilliant and original, like lobster bisque with a crabs roe foam or Foie Gras Consomme garnished with the corneas of a Wagyu Cow. Actually, we went for something far heartier, tastier and considerably cheaper than that: Black Bean Soup.
As an indication of how uneducated the British palate still is to Tex Mex food, the bag of black beans, purchased at the weekend, were in the reduced bin. Unfortunately, I suspect it was due to the hugely inflated price of them (£4.99 – equivalent to nearly 10 bucks!) that was the cause of their fall from specialist aisle darling to dumpster bin reject.
Still, Tescos loss is our gain. The soup was a breeze to make, prepped in just 10 minutes flat. 90 minutes later and the soup was ready to serve. I didn’t even use a recipe, I simply prepared them as I do Puy Lentils, but adding a couple of red hot dried chilis and a good pinch of freshly ground toasted cumin seeds.
When ready it resembled crude oil, studded with tiny, shiny pieces of obsidian. A most beautiful soup, made even more stunning with a sprinkling of spring onion, coriander and sour cream.
Paul said that this was his favourite soup of the week. Well, if it has the words Tex or Mex in the recipe, he's happy."
Disclaimer: the comments about lobster and foie gras were written pre-vegan days but I have preserved the words as I enjoyed them.

BLACK BEAN SOUP serves 6-8
400g Black Beans, soaked overnight
1 Large Onion, finely chopped
2 Cloves Garlic, finely chopped
1 Stick Celery, finely chopped
2 Teaspoons Cumin
1 Scotch Bonnet Chili
1 Diced Pepper, colour of your choice
Lime Juice
Fresh Coriander
1.5 Litres Vegan Beef-flavoured Stock
20g Vegetable oil
1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano or Epazote
Spring Onion, Tofutti Sour Cream, Tortilla Chips, Vegan Cheddar for garnishing


The Beans:
Drain the soaked beans and rinse well.
Place the beans in a large pan filled with water, and a peeled and halved onion. Bring to a gently simmer and skim off the scum as it rises.
You can either transfer this mixture to a slow cooker or continue cooking on the hob until tender.

Drain the beans and return to slow cooker or pan.

In a small saucepan, heat the oil and gently cook the onion, garlic, pepper and scotch bonnet until soft. Add the celery and cook for a couple minutes more. Add this mixture to the beans, along with the cumin and oregano.

If your beans are in the slow cooker, simply add the vegetables with sauteing first, along with the cumin and oregano.

Cover with the stock and simmer. Slow cooker 3-4 hours, hob half an hour.

The stock will have turned a rich, black colour when ready and the beans will be tender.

Spritz in the lime and stir in some chopped coriander. Taste for seasoning. 

Once you have seasoned it to your satisfaction, serve in deep bowls sprinkled with tortilla chips (we fried up flour tortillas) chopped spring onion, sour cream and grated cheese. 


This is our entry for My Legume Love Affair hosted by Briociole!

1 comment:

  1. I like the way you describe the soup and the story of your soup adventure is really nice. I love soups and make them often, year round. Black bean are indeed expensive there. Thank you so much for your contribution to My Legume Love AFfair!


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