Food & Drinks

How to Make the Best Ever Black Bean Soup

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How to Make the Best Ever Black Bean Soup
Photo KBR/Flickr

Who doesn't love black bean soup? It's the perfect remedy to a cold rainy day and can be dressed up with goodies normally reserved for nachos: sour cream, tortilla chips, shredded cheese, sliced avocados, scallions and other Mexican-inspired goodness.

If you don't know how to make black bean soup, you'll be surprised to find out how simple it can be. Rather than sharing a recipe we’d like to share a quick and easy method you can use to make virtually any soup even if it doesn’t call for beans. Just take a look below.

How To Make Black Bean Soup: The Basics

There are a few things to keep in mind when making black bean soup:

Canned beans vs. dried beans

Canned black beans are great when you are in a pinch but if you have the time it’s worth it to soak and cook dried beans. You can simply soak them overnight and put them in a slow cooker in the morning so they are soft by dinner time. This adds a nice texture and flavor to the soup.

Ground cumin vs. whole cumin seeds

Cumin is essential in a good black bean soup. It adds depth and dimension to the soup that’s hard to replicate without this spice. For optimum flavor, it's worth it to buy whole cumin seeds instead of ground. You simply need to toast them and grind them once cooled. The aroma doesn't compare to that of a spice that's been sitting on a shelf for months.

Water vs. chicken broth

When it comes to soups it's always a good idea to use a good stock or broth as a base. In this case, chicken or veggie stock or broth will do. You could use plain water in a pinch but the soup won't be as flavorful. This could be remedied by the use of a bouillon cube but you'll have to scale back on salt because since these are high in sodium.

How To Make Black Bean Soup: Easy Method

1. Sauté an onion until translucent then add minced garlic. Cook until aromatic then add ground cumin, chili powder and bell peppers or jalapeños, if using.

2. Add softened black beans to the pot and twice the same amount of chicken or vegetable broth. Bring to a boil then simmer for about 20 minutes. Turn off the heat.

3. At this point you'll want to purée half the soup either in a blender or just stick an immersion blender in the pot (make sure the fire is off). Once blended go ahead and turn the soup on low heat.

4. Stir in fresh lime juice for zest and check your seasonings. The soup is now easy to be served.

Traditional garnishes include sour cream and cilantro but you could also use scallions, chopped tomatoes or diced red onion. Now that you’ve learned how to make black bean soup you’ll be able to tinker with this method and create your own version using your choice of ingredients. Some people add bell peppers, tomatoes and bacon to the base - it’s really all up to you!

Need to see it in action? Here’s a black bean soup that is delicious:

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