Black Bean Soup

Black beans
Black beans

Flavors of New Mexico: Black Bean Soup

     As a transplant to the great Southwest some 26 years ago I gingerly tiptoed into the foods of the area. Now as I bask in the sun and moderate climate of New Mexico, I realize that I have melded the cooking of my Midwest upbringing with some mighty fine flavors of the Great Southwest.

      In fact, I brought many excellent bean recipes with me.  You can see the Michigan Bean Council site for lots of yummy bean recipes. Beans are great cholesterol busters, you know.

    So, here begins recipes that I have created mixing my two favorite foods......comfort food from the Midwest and the flavors of New Mexico (los sabores de Nuevo Mexico!)

Black Bean Soup~ Sopa Negra de Frijol

This soup is a nutritious meal. It has its roots in the bean fields of Michigan and when I moved it here, well, I added and subtracted until I found something that our family loves.

8 oz. dried black beans

One medium onion chopped

Two cloves of chopped garlic

Four ribs of celery chopped

Four carrots chopped

1/4 cup of brown sugar

Bay leaf

5 cups of liquid, such as chicken stock, beef stock, or mushroom stock.

Chipotle powder

Cilantro powder OR fresh chopped cilantro ( a good handfull)

1 1/2 t. coriander

1 teaspoon cumin

One small can of chopped green chiles (or frozen, or fresh...make sure you know how to work with them, read more of my posts for this lesson!)

1 teaspoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons dry sherry

One lime -cut in half. You will use one-half to squeeze into the soup and reserve one half to cut into wedges to garnish with.

1 pound of chorizo (or smokey bacon if you prefer!)

Cottage cheese

First, boil the beans for two minutes covered and then let them sit for an hour. OR soak them overnight.

Rinse the beans and discard water.

While the beans were boiling or soaking, sauté the onions, garlic, celery and carrots until soft

Place the beans in a crock pot with about 5 cups of liquid....chicken, beef, or mushroom stock

Add the sautéed veg., brown sugar, and bay leaf.

Let boil and then reduce to low setting.

Cook for 4-6 hours depending on how hot your crock pot is. You want the beans soft.

Add chipotle, cilantro powder (OR fresh chopped cilantro), coriander, cumin and green chiles, lemon juice, dry sherry and squeeze one-half of the lime juice into the pot.

Let this cook on high while you sauté the chorizo until fully cooked.

Serve the bean soup topped with a portion of the chorizo on top and a couple of wedges of lime as a garnish. Add some chopped fresh cilantro too!

I have a hand blender that I take a good whallop to the soup with. This blends some of the soup to make a thickening agent. Be sure to not over blend!!

As for the cottage cheese? Well, here in the SW they would serve you sour cream and you may switch to that but we find that a serving of cottage cheese either in the soup or on the side is a perfect palate cooler.

This has a lovely flavor. BUT…….Remember, if the spices are too hot in a Mexican oriented dish, milk products are what will cool your mouth not water! Water will not take away the burn.

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NMLady 5 years ago from New Mexico & Arizona Author

FYI--Made this yesterday and left out the jalapenos to see what it was like, and it was good that way too...BUT hubby suggests we serve the beans over hot rice.....too. Well, I like flexibility in recipes, don't you?

OH! and served chorizo sausage that I had cooked up on the side.

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