With winter in full force, nothing is more comforting and restorative on a cold day than a big bowl of soup. Check out Chef Katrina Schonberg-Hamar’s delicious Black Bean Soup recipe sure to soothe you from the inside out!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dried black beans, sorted and rinsed
  • 4 thick cut slices of bacon
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3-4 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1-2 serrano peppers, minced (remove seeds for a milder soup)
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6-8 cups chicken stock
  • 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice

To serve: Cilantro leaves, queso fresco, sour cream, diced avocado, and/or Mexican hot sauce (like Cholula)

Directions

  1. Soak the beans in water to cover for at least 6 hours or overnight.
  2. In a large pressure cooker (or if you don’t have one, use a large Dutch oven) cook the bacon over medium heat until rendered and crispy. Remove the bacon and drain on paper towels, then chop into small pieces.
  3. Add the onion, carrot, and celery to the pot with the bacon fat, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Increase heat to medium high and sauté until the onions are translucent and begin to soften, stirring frequently. Add the garlic, serrano peppers, and spices. Cook for 1-2 minutes until everything is very fragrant.
  4. Drain the soaked beans, put them in the pot along with the chicken broth, canned tomatoes, and bacon. Sprinkle a little more salt in the pot, stir to combine, and put the lid on the pressure cooker, bring to high pressure, and cook for 30 minutes after pressurized. (If using a Dutch oven, bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally until beans are tender.)
  5. Remove from heat and allow the pressure to release naturally, this will take about 20 minutes. Check the beans for tenderness (simmer until tender if they are not) and season to taste with salt (it will need a lot of salt if you used unsalted broth).
  6. Transfer 4-6 cups of soup to a blender, making sure not to fill the blender more than 2/3 full. Be sure to vent the lid to prevent a dangerous explosion of hot soup, and blend until very smooth.
  7. Add the puréed soup back to the pot, add the cilantro and lime juice, stir well. Taste the soup and adjust the salt as needed. Ladle into bowls and top with cilantro leaves, queso fresco, sour cream, diced avocado, and/or Mexican hot sauce such as Cholula.

Tips

A small amount of bacon is added for flavor, and a homemade chicken stock was used, but you can easily omit the bacon and use vegetable stock for a vegan version. If you do, a roasted vegetable stock made with some dried mushrooms is recommended for the deepest umami flavor.