The Literate Chef

Black Bean Soup

In Recipes, Soups on December 28, 2011 at 3:10 PM

Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated (please see note below).   Active involvement-1 hour, cooking time 2&1/2 hours; makes about 16 servings.

Black Bean Soup


•    2 lbs. dried black beans, rinsed and picked over
•    1 ham bone
•    6 bay leaves
•    2 & ½ qts. water
•    8 tbsps. extra virgin olive oil
•    4 cups of finely chopped onions, about 4 medium onions
•    2 cups finely chopped celery, about 3 stalks
•    1 cup finely chopped carrots, about 2 carrots
•    5 tbsps. minced garlic, about 1 whole head
•    3 tbsps. ground cumin
•    2 qts.  Unsalted Chicken Stock
•    6 jalapeno peppers including seeds, chopped fine
•    1 lb. Spanish Chorizos, sliced lengthwise and then at 90 degree angle, so that each slice is a ¼ inch thick half moon
•    1 cup rum


1.    Place beans, ham bone, bay leaves and water in a 5 qt. pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat, cover and simmer on a low boil, until beans are tender about 90 minutes. If too thick, add an additional cup or two of water and continue to simmer until beans are tender. Remove ham bone and bay leaves and discard.
2.    In the meantime, heat olive oil in 8-quart stock pot over medium-high heat until shimmering; add the onions, carrots and celery, cook for 6 minutes stirring until vegetables are soft.
3.    Add the garlic and cumin and continue cooking, stirring constantly for about 3 minutes.
4.    Add the beans and their liquid (after removing and discarding the ham bone and bay leaves), mix well.
5.    Add the chicken broth and jalapenos, raise the heat to medium-high and bring to boil, reduce the heat to low, simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
6.    Remove 3 cups of beans and 3 cups of liquid to a food processor, process until smooth then return to pot. Add the chorizos and rum bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes more.

Upon serving add a splash of Amontillado Sherry to each bowl and garnish with chopped fresh cilantro and sour cream.

NOTE: Please see The Gift of Christmas Ham that Kept on Giving for a discussion of how this recipe was adapted and developed

From a Cask of Amontillado

  1. This was truly your best black bean soup! How lucky I am to be a part of your culinary expertise.

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