Black Bean Soup

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

This great soup is a specialty of Leon Lianides at the Coach House in New York.

Cooking Methodsauteeing


Total Timea day or more

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together, Formal Dinner Party

Recipe Courseappetizer, main course

Dietary Considerationhigh fiber, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free

Equipmentfood mill


Taste and Texturemeaty, rich, savory

Type of Dishhot soup, soup


  • 2 cups black beans
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 large onions, coarsely cut
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves
  • 3 leeks, coarsely cut
  • 1 celery stalk, coarsely cut
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 or 3 cloves
  • Split ham shank with bone and rind
  • 3 pounds beef or veal bones
  • 8 peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 4 to 5 quarts water
  • ½ cup Madeira
  • Chopped parsley
  • 2 or 3 finely chopped hard-boiled eggs
  • Very thin lemon slices


  1. Soak the beans overnight in water to cover. Next day melt the butter in a stockpot, add the vegetables, bay leaves, and cloves, and sauté 3 minutes. Add the ham shank and beef or veal bones and cook 3 to 4 minutes, then add the peppercorns and flour and blend well. Cook 2 to 3 minutes more, then add the water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, skim, and simmer about 8 hours, covered (leave a small air space). Strain the soaked beans, add to the pot, and simmer 2½ hours more, stirring occasionally. Add more water if the mixture gets too thick or the beans are not completely covered. Remove from the heat, discard the bones, and put the soup through a food mill or coarse strainer-you must really purée the beans. Taste, correct the seasoning, add the Madeira, and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and serve immediately, garnished with the parsley, chopped eggs, and lemon slices.


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