Black Bean Soup

This is a little something I threw together and tossed in the slow cooker before I went to work.  I wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out, but it all sounded good in my head and smelled pretty darn good even before it cooked.  When I got home from work tonight I was pleasantly surprised to find that it tasted even better than I had imagined.  What can I say?  I’m a genius, I guess.

Just kidding about that genius stuff. 
Since I work late, I like to make meals in my slow cooker so that Honey Buns will have a hot meal when he gets home from work at regular-working-people hours.  But, lest you think me nigh unto angelic for making sure that my man has a hot meal when he gets home from work, its the only time he gets dinner on time.  On my days off I pretty much don’t even start cooking until 6:00 PM at the earliest.  I’m not lazy, I just get preoccupied with stuff.  It’s not until I hear the garage door going up that I snap to attention and run to the kitchen.  Generally I have planned what I am making for dinner, so I’m not completely clueless at that magic 6:00 hour.

This recipe is very flexible; you can change the spices and seasonings to suit your taste.  I made a very mildly warm soup by limiting the amount of chipotle chili powder.  If you like your soup spicier, add more of the hot stuff.  As with many soups, sauteing the vegetables deepens the flavor of the soup as a whole.

Black Bean Soup
Recipe by Terri @ that’s some good cookin’

  • 3 (15 ounce) cans black beans
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chilies
  • 1/2 of a ham steak, diced into small cubes
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil (I really don’t think that olive oil would be a good idea)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 cups water
  • cilantro, to taste, chopped (optional)
  • cotija cheese, grated for garnish (optional)
  1. In a frying pan over medium heat saute carrots, onion, and garlic for about 15 minutes in the 2 tablespoons oil.
  2. Add ham steak cubes and saute for about 15 minutes more or until the onions are translucent.
  3. Drain and rinse 2 cans of the black beans.
  4. Empty the contents of the 3rd can of black beans, with the liquid, into a blender.  Puree beans by pulsing or blending on low.
  5. Put all ingredients into the slow cooker.  Stir to blend.  Cook on low for 4-5 hours.
  6. If you choose to use cilantro, add it during the final 15 minutes of cooking.
  7. Top with cotija cheese if desired. Cotija is a Mexican cheese that crumbles well when it is grated. Look for it in the dairy section of the grocery store with the other cheeses. Walmart, however, has a special Mexican cheese section in their super stores.
    Saute the carrots, onions, and garlic for about 15 minutes.
    You only need half of a ham steak.  Use the other half in something wonderful for breakfast!
    Drain and rinse 2 cans of  black beans.  I really enjoy using this little green colander that I got from Target.  It is such a handy size for smaller jobs.
    Puree the remaining can of black beans, undrained, in a blender.  You could also use an immersion blender to make the puree.  The puree helps to thicken the soup.
    Put everything together into the slow cooker and stir to blend.  Cook for 4-5 hours on low.  If you are using cilantro, put it in for the last 15 minutes of cooking.
    Top with some cotija cheese and just say mmmmmm.

that’s some good cookin’ copyright 2010. All rights reserved.


  1. says

    jeff and i were trying to make this on wednesday. ours wasn’t as successful at all. but then, we don’t have canned black beans, just dry, which neither of us have used much before

  2. says

    Rebecca is too nice to me. What she means to say is that I put about half a tonne (British spelling) of dried black beans into a slow cooker at 4pm, along with some crappy British rice. I blame it on not soaking the beans long enough, as after about 6 hours in the slow cooker what I had was an underseasoned pile of purple, mushy rice and crunchy beans. I stayed up until 12am hoping to salvage something out of the mess, but ultimately I ended up with an underseasoned pile of mushy rice AND beans. Basically I re-invented mortar – using ingredients which can be found in any grocery store. The lawyers tell me I have a good shot at getting the patent. Just promise me you won’t try to eat it, this stuff is for construction purposes only.

  3. says

    Becca, write me an email and tell me what happened to your beans. I have often used dried beans in recipes, so maybe I can help you figure out what went wrong with your beans. The main thing with using dry beans is that you have to cook the beans before you add any other ingredients, especially tomatoes. Tomatoes will keep the beans hard if the beans are not fully cooked before adding the tomatoes.

  4. says

    Jeff, this is funny! I was writing an answer to Becca at the same time as you were writing an explanatory comment as well. Congrats on the mortar thing. Maybe its your answer to paying for grad school and that PhD.

    We do get a little spoiled in America with our selection of ingredients, don’t we? I’ll send you guys some info on using dried beans. Heaven only knows how nuts I made my kids when they were growing up with all of my dried bean experiments.

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