Rich in flavor and soft in texture, black beans are perfect for soup. Black bean soup takes well to the classic Latin-American flavors of cumin, chili, cilantro, and lime — add more or less of any of these, depending on what you like.
Sharp knife (adult needed)
Large heavy-bottomed pot
Wooden spoon or heatproof spatula
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large onions, peeled and chopped
- 2 carrots, scrubbed or peeled, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced or chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 5 cups (three 15-ounce cans) black beans, drained and rinsed
- 8 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
- 4 tablespoons plain yogurt, for garnish
Put the pot on the stove and turn the heat to medium. When it is hot, carefully add the oil.
Add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, and spices and cook until tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
Add the beans and broth, raise the heat to high and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and cook, partially covered, for 2 hours, stirring frequently. (If at any point the soup seems too thick and is starting to look like mud, add 1 to 2 cups more broth.)
Stir in the lime juice and taste the soup. Does it need anything to boost the flavor? More spices? Another squeeze of lime juice? A grinding of black pepper? A pinch of salt? Add whatever you think it needs. Serve right away, garnished with cilantro and yogurt, or cover and refrigerate up to 3 days.