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Black Bean Soup

This is a recipe that I have tinkered with for a long time and I believe that I have finally hit on a winner.  This soup is truly delicious.  Used to be I'd always start with dried black beans and prepare them from scratch.  With this recipe I decided to use canned beans to demonstrate that the old method isn't necessary to produce an excellent dish.  Not to mention that is all comes together way faster.


4-15oz cans black beans, drained
4 cups chicken broth
4 cloves garlic, pressed
2 medium red bell pepper, diced
1 large onion, diced
1-2 medium Chile de Arbol, seeded and diced (see notes)
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon thyme
2 medium bay leaves
1-2 chipotle en adobo chopped (see notes)
2 tablespoons of the adobo sauce ( see notes)
1 medium lime, juiced
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Green onions finely chopped for garnish
salt and pepper to taste

Using a pot or Dutch oven large enough for all ingredients sauté the onion, bell pepper, bay leaves and chiles de Arbol until the onion is soft and translucent, 8 to10 minutes.  Add garlic and seasonings and cook an additional minute or so until aromatic.  Add the beans, chipotle and the broth.  Bring to a slow simmer and cook for about 45 minutes or so to allow the broth to reduce.  During the last 5 minutes or so add the lime juice, vinegar and adobo sauce.

Using your blender, or immersion wand, blend the ingredients (making sure to remove the bay leaves first) until the ingredients have mostly pureed leaving some beans and veggies for texture.  If the soup is too thick add additional water or broth to reach a consistency you like.  Adjust for salt and pepper and serve with crusty bread, and green onions and sour cream.


  1. Chile de Arbol is a medium hot chile from Mexico sometimes referred to as a bird's beak chile.  This type of chile doesn't add much in the way of flavor so feel free to substitute.  You can even substitute crushed red pepper flakes if you wish.
  2. Chipotle en adobo can be found in all Latin markets, and most large grocery stores.  They come in small cans with the chipotles smothered in the sauce (smoky, spicy and delicious).  You may also make your own.



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