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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Black Bean Soup

This recipe of Kerstin's for Black Bean Soup reminded me of a soup I've had at one of my former favorite Chicago restaurants Nacional 27. The reason I say former is because each time Bob and I go there, the menu has changed and our favorite dishes are replaced with some not-so-great ones. I've read some restaurant reviews that corroborate our feelings, and I think it's because they have had at least one change in head chef. Regardless, I was super excited to try this soup, and I am SO glad I did, because guess what? It's even better than the soup at Nacional! This soup is so flavorful and delicious, plus it's easy to make. It would have been easier if I had an immersion blender, so I'm seriously considering getting one in the near future. Bob and I eat a lot of soups, and I'm realizing how much hassle it would save us. I made half a batch of this soup, and I'm kicking myself because we didn't have any leftovers - it was that good. I think I might just have to make it again very soon :) We had this with cornbread muffins; I had wanted to make jalapeno cornbread muffins but didn't have all the ingredients.

Black Bean Soup

4 strips of turkey bacon
1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
1 large carrot, chopped
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3 cups chicken broth
1 can black beans (I used half of a very large can), drained and rinsed
1/2 Tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon cornstarch

crumbled feta cheese, optional

1. Cook bacon in a large stockpot over medium heat. Remove bacon and crumble.

2. In the same pot, heat olive oil and add carrots and onion. Cook until vegetables are soft. Add garlic and saute for about 1 minute, then add chicken broth, black beans, bacon, cumin, salt, and crushed red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and let simmer for 20 minutes.

3. Use an immersion blender to puree soup to desired consistency (or transfer soup to a food processor to do the same, then add soup back to the pot.)

4. Combine red wine vinegar and cornstarch in a small bowl, then add this to the soup. Simmer 5 more minutes or until soup has reach preferred thickness.

If desired, top with crumbled feta cheese (or light sour cream might also be good!)

3 servings

Source: Adapted from Cake, Batter, and Bowl


  1. Hey, I ate black bean soup last night. Great minds think alike! They are similar but I add a few chopped chipotles in mine.

  2. Yay, I'm so glad you enjoyed it! The feta cheese on top looks delicious! I didn't realize how much I needed an immersion blender until after I got one - they're awesome :)

  3. Yum! The turkey bacon and feta on top sound delicious! My parents have a vita-mix and I keep telling them I am going to take it when they least expect it :)


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