Secret Recipe Club: Black Bean Soup

I am so lazy I almost never use dried beans.   The reason is that I tend to use beans to make quick meals when I haven’t planned anything else.   I throw them together with tins of tomatoes, spices and whatever vegetables I have left to make quick, easy and filling soups, and as black beans are not very common in the UK,  they don’t very often tend to be the ones I use.  However, for a long time I have been meaning to change that, intending to buy more dried beans and make a wider variety of bean dishes. So, I bought a bag of dried black beans and as this recipe has used just a fifth, there is no excuse now for me not to make at least four more black bean dishes at some point in the future.

This desire of mine to use black beans has been around for a while, but it may not have happened just yet, were it not for the Secret Recipe Club.   This month I was paired with Kristi from Veggie Converter. Kristi is a vegetarian but her husband and children are not so she uses a lot of meat substitutes to try to convert traditional meat dishes into vegetarian dishes.   As I am not a vegetarian, and would rather eat meat than a meat substitute, I focused on those recipes of hers which were not conversions, which was why I ended up searching through various bean recipes.   I came across this post for vegan black bean soup and also this helpful post about soaking dried beans, and of course then I had no excuse not to use dried beans.

Making this soup is  incredibly easy, it does just take a bit of advance planning if you are using dried beans.    Everything can be thrown in the slow cooker in the morning and then in the evening you just need to blend it and add seasonings or accompaniments.  I loved the flavours and textures and found it quite filling.    I did make a few changes from the original.  The additional vegetables are different,  I didn’t have any salsa so added a chilli instead, and I also added lime juice.   To see the original recipe, go to Kristi’s blog.

Ingredients – Serves 2

100g dried black beans

1 tomato, diced

1 carrot, diced

1 tbsp sweetcorn

1 chilli, sliced

1/2 tsp vegetable stock powder

Black pepper

Fresh coriander to serve (optional)

Lime juice (optional)

How to make Black Bean Soup

1. Soak the dried black beans overnight.    If you use tinned you can skip this step.

2. Put the beans and chopped vegetables in the slow cooker.    Sprinkle with the stock powder and cover with boiling water so the vegetables are just covered.   Alternatively you can use real stock. Set to cook for 8 hours.

3. Blend the stock till it is relatively smooth but a few bits are ok.   Season and add the fresh coriander and lime juice if using.

To see what other Secret Recipe Club members have made, click on the link below:



Secret Recipe Club

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31 thoughts on “Secret Recipe Club: Black Bean Soup

  1. I eat a TON of beans but am too lazy to use dried beans. I know it would save me a ton of money but I haven’t done it yet. I DO have some in the cupboard though. I love a good black bean soup and this looks amazing! She has a great blog, doesn’t she?

    • That’s so nice of you to say, Debbi. Thank you! And I was totally the same way about the dried beans before I started using them. Canned is just so darned convenient. It does take a little more work, but it’s pretty easy work, just time-consuming! For me it’s definitely worth making up a big batch and home-canning them so it’s easy when it comes time to use them. I’m not sure how I would handle cooking the beans on the stove immediately before I used them in a recipe. Sounds exhausting.

  2. Corina, I LOVE your adaptations. (YUM particularly about all that fresh coriander and lime juice.) And it’s funny you mention using the non-converted (without fake meat) recipes, that’s what we’re doing a lot more of this year, too. We’re trying to use more whole foods, so we’re doing a lot more bean and vegetable dishes and I’m loving it! You reminded me of one of our all-time favorites by choosing this recipe. I’m definitely going to have to make it again soon. Thank you (and Debbi) so much for the kind words. I really appreciate it!

  3. I love beans… I usually cook a huge batch from dried and then freeze them in their broth in 1.5-2 cups containers so it is just like opening a can of beans… but so much healthier and tastier… and cheaper, too. ;) The soup looks so simple, yet so good.

  4. Sounds like a tasty and easy soup, even with the dried beans. like Janet, I’ve cooked the whole bag and freeze portions so I still have the convenience of canned.

  5. I love black beans but also am too impatient to deal with dried beans. I always go with the canned ones. I’m stopping by from Secret Recipe club, and would love if you’d stop by our new site Seasonalpotluck.com March is artichoke month! http://bit.ly/zRfNjo

  6. Hai Corina, this is just great. made double quantity with this ingredients but the carrot was not that good and it is easily recognized as some souring carrot. but altogether its a great one. thanks for sharing this article.

    • I’m surprised you found the carrot didn’t go and thought it was ‘souring’. I think carrot are usually sweet and go well in many soups, even when not used as the main flavour.

  7. hmm somehow it doesn’t work putting beans in the slow cooker for me. they just don’t soften at all, maybe because my slow cooker doesn’t actuallyr each a point where it boils, but instead, everything just barely simmers! I’m sure I could do this the stovetop way though, it sounds lovely! (:

  8. Mmm, today it has a horrible wind here and the cold is unbeleivable, I wonder where the spring is! Anyway, this soup is absolutely perfect for this terrible weather here and it gives you all the energy and the warmth necessary to cope with it!

  9. I love black beans and black bean soup! Definitely a great thing to have in your pantry because they are so versatile. Best of luck with testing out more black bean recipes, this one seems like a great start!

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