ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Black Bean and Chicken Soup

Updated on January 18, 2012

Black Bean Soup

Black Bean Soup
Black Bean Soup

Cost Breakdown

Unit Cost 
Black Beans
.4 lb
.4 lb
1 Tbl
Yellow Onion
Black pepper
1 tsp
Kosher salt
1 tsp
Chili powder
1 Tbl
3-4 cloves
Tomatoes, diced
28 oz
Sour Cream
2-3 Tbl
2 Tbl
Lime Juice
2 tsp
Total Cost
Including chicken @ 2.98/lb.

The cost per serving, including

the cost of garnishes, is .24,

or .49 if using the chicken.

Recently I was accused to using "all the best" ingredients - and it tore me up. My passion and philosophy is that technique is what elevates food - and I'm on an incredibly strict budget. I shop sales and look for bargains like the best of them. I guess in a way it was a lopsided compliment - the friend that said that to me had been looking at my cooking blog, and had decided that the only way to cook the way I do is to spend way to much at the store.

Au contraire mon amis! If you pay attention to the dishes I make, you'll see that I waste nothing, and that most of my flavor comes from two places - applying the right method to each ingredient to maximize it's punch, and from selecting flavor packed ingredients in the first place.

This simple little soup is a perfect example of how I cook every day. This dish is absolutely packed with the good stuff - beans, veggies and lean protein, and is loaded with flavor. In this case I had some chicken I needed to use, so I poached it quickly and threw it in the pot. However, most of the time I don't do that - and if you leave out the chicken or use a less expensive cut - or just less period - you cut the cost per serving from .49 to .24. On top of that this soup is easily main dish - it's rich, hearty and filling, even without the chicken. The beans themselves provide ample protein - you don't need the extra from the poultry unless you just want to.

Did I use only the best ingredients? Yes I did. But they were the ones on sale or readily available cheaply year round - dried beans, onion, carrot and celery, garlic, chili powder and cumin. This makes a big pot of soup - depending on what you include in the meal to go with it you'll easily get between 12-16 servings. It gets better as it sits too, so refridgerate the extra, and use it for a second meal. We like it as it is, but because it's thick, we sometimes roll it in tortillas with lots of dark green lettuces and some salsa for a fabulous (if messy!) burrito. Make up some cornbread and have a ready made supper with a big fat salad. This one is another of my 'double duty' recipes - cooking once and having a huge jump start on another meal. My big boys happily warm up some after school, and it's easy to feed my menfolk (my dad and brothers are often here) at lunch quickly, well and inexpensively.

Tailor it as you will too - if you have to have cheese, go ahead. Monterrey or Pepper Jack, Cheddar or a little Mozzarella, Cojito or Queso Fresco - whatever floats your boat. But remember, if budget is your concern, that's another protein and therefore pricey. I made this soup to be flavorful enough not to need it.

The Recipe!

 You'll need:

1 bag of black beans (canned if have to, but I prefer the dried, and they cost much, much less)

2 medium carrots, diced

1 medium celery stalk, diced

2 yellow onions, diced

1 Tbl cumin

Freshly cracked black pepper

Kosher salt

1 Tbl chili powder

3-4 cloves garlic, minced

1 28 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained

1 lb of cooked shredded chicken (optional)

to garnish:

sour cream

minced parsley or cilantro

lime juice

  1. I really like using dried beans. I normally let them soak overnight, since that method preserves more of their nutritional value. So - soak them overnight, drain the soaking water, cover them again with cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook for about an hour to an hour and a half. The fresher your dried beans, the shorter the cooking time. Halfway through this first cooking time, add cumin and chili powder, and a good teaspoon of salt. More if you like. You'll know they're ready when you can taste one and have it be just a little bit underdone. If it were pasta it'd be 'al dente'.
  2. Add onions, carrots, garlic and celery to the pot. Continue to simmer for another half hour. After twenty minutes you can taste for seasoning - the broth will be your best indicator. Taste adjust seasoning for salt and pepper. If you'd like additional cumin or chili powder - or both! - add it now.
  3. Taste again. Once the beans are cooked - tender but not mushy - stir in tomatoes and juice. Don't add the tomatoes before the beans are done, because the acid in the tomatoes will prevent the beans from becoming tender, although they'll be 'done'. If you're using chicken, stir it in, or use it as a garnish.
  4. To serve, simply ladle into bowls. Add a little squirt of lime juice to each bowl, and top with a dollop of sour cream. Sprinkle with the parsley or cilantro - and eat up!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Mmm...thanks so much. We're in for a rainy weekend, this is perfect! :)

    • Spider Girl profile image

      Spider Girl 

      11 years ago from the Web

      Wow what a recipe DixieMockingbird! Can't wait any longer to try it!

    • DixieMockingbird profile imageAUTHOR

      Jan Charles 

      11 years ago from East Tennessee

      Thanks - and you are so right! I love, love, love dried beans, any and all kinds! And with a tight budget and four kids myself - stretching has become nearly an art form. Like I said in the article - it's all about the method - and you CAN eat great for cheap! Thank you again!

    • rkhyclak profile image


      11 years ago from Ohio

      Great recipe! We've been using a lot more beans (all varieties) and stuff like lentils as well to stretch a buck a little further. All it takes is some creativity and you can eat GREAT for cheap!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)