Black Bean Soup for my Soul

Cooking… is always salve for my soul.

Cooking… is always an adventure.

Cooking… is always rewarding, even a flop teaches me something.

Cooking… SOMETIMES is best done from a tried and true recipe.

Soup is yet to be something I am just innately good at cooking. I can’t just toss together a soup. Luckily my Mom is a wonderful soup maker and I’m learning. Especially since it’s my TOP favorite food.But sometimes it doesn’t get any better then a tried and true recipe. I used to be a part of a cooking club, I miss those days. And my dear friend Bethany and I would get together with Jamie – our resident expert. We’d tell her which ingredients we had on hand or what we’d like to cook with and she would introduce us to new techniques, new recipes, and we’d have a ball cooking, eating, visiting, and of course sipping wine. Jamie is the kind of cool who has truly educated herself – Luke she actually reads those “Cook’s Illustrated” magazines –  if they can even be called that since they are completely black and white and primarily text… We were lucky to benefit from her knowledge!

This recipe for black bean soup was shared with me by Jamie and it’s a favorite. This coming from the girl that would at least weekly order Pho from a local Vietnamese restaurant and weekly get a bowl of black bean soup (dipping cheese filled tortillas into it) at a favorite Mexican restaurant throughout most of my high school AND college career. Now I love making this recipe at home.

I make a few alterations (based on cooking club recommendations) and I’ll share those with you here.

– I use A LOT of garlic – not just 6 cloves. I dare to say I use a whole head of pressed, fresh garlic.

– I only use 1 tsp of chili powder but add in 1 jalapeno (fresh) chopped without seeds instead of a full tablespoon.

– I tie the cilantro with baker’s twine and toss it in as soon as possible. Did you know that the stems of cilantro have the most flavor so your soup will burst with that fresh flavor if you include it. (I didn’t until Jamie taught me) Plus the leaves wilt, fall off into the soup and you can just remove the bundle of remaining stems before you serve.

– I like an excuse to use dried beans so I just soak a bag of beans overnight and use them (drained but not rinsed) instead of the canned beans – may need a bit longer cooking time though…

I also LOVE to serve with Mexican cheese (favorite is queso cotjia which is dry and powdery and second I like queso fresco which is wetter) sprinkled on top and/or warmed tortillas that I stuff with shredded cheddar cheese and roll up for the perfect dipping extra!

Hope you’ll try, review, and share your results. Be inspired this fall to try some new tried and true recipes!

Visit the link for the full recipe and easy to print ingredient list and directions. But know this is what you’ll need on hand to make the recipe.

Ingredient List
chicken broth
canned chopped tomatoes
Worcestershire sauce
chili powder

black beans (canned or dried that have been soaked)

green onions/scallions
sour cream

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