This warming black bean soup was perfect for the week of crazy weather we’ve been experiencing in New York, including a nor’easter that I swear had rain falling diagonally in one direction and snow falling in the other direction! The black bean soup recipe comes from one of my absolute favorite cookbooks, Cold-Weather Cooking, which is full of delicious recipes perfect for the type of weather we’ve been having. The soup includes a healthy dose of sherry, for an extra warming effect. (I could go on about how much I love sherry, but that’s for another post.) Sarah Leah Chase, the cookbook’s author, writes that the soup pairs well with her banana bread. I haven’t tried making the banana bread yet, but it’s high on my list since it includes coconut, macadamia nuts, golden raisins, and Jamaican rum! You can find the recipe here, although I suggest just buying the book—it’s such a great one. I hope you all are staying warm in the stormy weather! (If you’re not, try making this black bean soup!)
Andrew and I are getting ready to travel to Portugal next week for my birthday, and so far the forecast is calling for rain every day. We’re determined to have a great time anyway, but I’m sure we’ll be sampling some local caldo verde soup (I’ll be sure to take pictures) to thaw out from the chilly drizzle, and exploring a bunch of museums to avoid the rain entirely for a few hours at least. If you have any Lisbon or Porto recommendations, I’d love to hear them! We’ve been to Lisbon once before and absolutely loved it, but this will be our first time in Porto. On the agenda for sure is at least one port-tasting, a visit to this magical bookstore, and sampling this local sandwich specialty involving meat, cheese, and tomato-beer secret sauce.
I’ll be documenting our gustatory adventures on the blog, so check back next week for lots of photos. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this recipe!
Black Bean Soup
adapted from Cold-Weather Cooking
- 4 oz. slice bacon, diced
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 carrots, finely chopped
- 2 ribs celery, finely chopped
- 2 jalapeño peppers, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp ground cumin
- 2 Tbsp dried oregano
- 1/2 lb dried black beans, soaked over night, then rinsed and drained
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 2 to 3 Tbsp lime juice, plus more to taste if desired
- 1/3 cup cream sherry
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/3 cup minced cilantro
- sour cream, for garnish
- In a large pot, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside to drain on a paper towel–lined plate.
- Add the onion, garlic, carrots, and celery to the pot with the bacon fat and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the jalapeños and cook for 5 minutes longer. Stir in the cumin and oregano.
- Add the black beans and the chicken broth; bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for about 2 1/2 hours, or until the beans are falling apart. Stir occasionally, and add some water if the soup gets too thick.
- Stir in the lime juice, sherry, and bacon; season with salt, pepper, and additional lime juice to taste. Serve, garnishing each portion with a dollop of sour cream and some cilantro.