Black Bean Soup

Updated February 23, 2016
This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

My idea of a perfect lunch on a snowy afternoon is a big bowl of spicy black bean soup accompanied by a couple thick slices of banana bread.

Makes8 to 10 servings

Cooking Methodslow cooking



Total Timea day or more

Make Ahead RecipeYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionFamily Get-together, game day

Recipe Courseappetizer, hot appetizer, main course

Mealdinner, lunch

Taste and Textureherby, hot & spicy, savory, tangy

Type of Dishhot soup


  • 8 ounces sliced bacon, diced
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 carrots, peeled and minced
  • 4 ribs celery, minced
  • 3 jalapeño chiles, stemmed, seeded, and diced
  • ¼ cup ground cumin
  • ¼ cup dried oregano
  • 1 pound black turtle beans, soaked overnight in water
  • 3½ to 4 quarts chicken broth, preferably homemade
  • ½ cup fresh lime juice
  • ½ cup cream sherry
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • ½ cup minced cilantro (fresh coriander)
  • Sour cream for garnish


  1. Cook the bacon in a large stockpot over medium-high heat until it begins to crisp. Remove it with a slotted spoon and set aside to drain on paper towels.

  2. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, and celery to the bacon fat in the pot; sauté, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Stir in the jalapeños and cook 5 minutes more. Stir in the cumin and oregano.

  3. Rinse and drain the black beans and add to the stockpot. Cover with 3½ quarts chicken broth. Simmer uncovered until the beans are very tender and beginning to fall apart, about 2 hours. Thin with additional broth if the mixture seems to be getting too thick.

  4. Stir in the lime juice, and sherry, and reserved bacon. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Just before serving, swirl in the cilantro. Serve piping hot in bowls garnished with a dollop of sour cream.



I have not made this yet so I cannot rate it.

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Keeping in mind the other comments, I halved this recipe the first time I made it, and then cut way down on the cumin, oregano and lime juice that it called for. The result was delicious, I'll definitely make it again. Had I made it exactly as written, I would have had a huge pot of seriously overspiced (and inedible) soup. Thanks to the other commenters it was a successful and very tasty experiment.

This soup was a huge disappointment. I didn't like the flavor profile, I didn't like the consistency of the soup. Definitely too much cumin and oregano. Also, I would suggest chopping or dicing the vegetables and a longer time in the pot before adding the other ingredients. Did not work for me at all.

i did not care for this soup, ended up tasting sour due to the lime juice and sherry, as well as quite a bit of cumin. also it made a TON of soup. I would make 1/2 or even 1/4 of this amount for the first time making this soup, just to make sure you like it.

yeah, i ended up putting in half the amts of cumin and oregano, and then working to take them out again... too much.

This recipe looks yummy - except I'm a little concerned that the amount of Oregano and Cumin called for will overcome the other flavors.


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