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Jack's World Famous Black Bean Soup Recipe

Updated on March 6, 2011

There's something about a homemade pot of soup on the stove that helps define a house as a "home" and not just where people hang their hats.

I love to make this soup, and the family loves to eat it. So do our friends who come over. I took a little here, and a little there from a number of recipes until I was satisfied with this one. But please, feel free to change it around as it suits you.

If you sauté the spices for a few minutes in with the vegetables you'll find that they have a much stronger, deeper flavor than just adding them into the stock as we normally do. Of course, the very best spices would be those that you can grind just before using.

I've been using fish sauce in my soups for years now, because it adds a layer of flavor that is unique and very, very rich. If you don't have it, don't worry. But if you do use it, be very careful... a little bit goes a very long ways.

Serve it with cornbread or a good loaf of European bread and enjoy.


  • 2 c Dried black beans
  • 1 md Onion; finely diced
  • 1 md Bell Pepper, prefereably red or yellow but green is fine
  • 2 clvs Garlic
  • 3 tb Butter or oil
  • 1 sm Carrot - peeled and finely diced
  • 1 Celery stalk; finely diced
  • 6 c Chicken broth
  • 2 Smoked Ham hocks
  • 1 ts Thyme
  • 1 ts cumin
  • 1 ts ground allspice
  • 1 ts ground coriander
  • 2 bay leafs
  • 4 wedges Mexican Ibarra sweet chocolate (Nestles Mexican chocolate is fine)
  • 1/4 c Lemon juice
  • 1/4 c Dry sherry
  • 2 tbls fish sauce (optional, found in Asian food stores)
  • Sour cream
  • Chopped fresh dill


THE NIGHT BEFORE, place beans in a bowl, cover with 3 inches of water and soak at least 8 hours or up to 10. Or, for a quick-cook method, place beans in hot water for 1 hour before continuing with the recipe. (Or, use canned black beans)

Combine onion, bell pepper, garlic, and oil in a Dutch oven over low heat on top of the stove and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Add the carrot and celery and cook another 5 minutes. Then add the spices and cook another 5 minutes. Last, add the drained beans, stock, ham hock, bay leaf and fish sauce.

Cover, increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Decrease heat to low and cook, covered, for two hours.

Place 1/4 of the beans and liquid in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Pour the puree back into the pot. Pull the ham hock out and shred finely. Add meat back to pot. Add Ibarra wedges, lemon juice and sherry.

Simmer for another 30 minutes.

Place a dollop of sour cream in each soup bowl and sprinkle with some chopped fresh dill. Pour the piping hot soup at the table.

This is a very forgiving recipe that can be adapted in infinite ways. Try what's best for you.

If you like what you've read I encourage you to look around at some of my other recipes, I am sure you'll find something you like.


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