Smoky Black Bean Soup
Coffee adds a slightly toasty, earthy note to this vegan soup. If you’re not vegetarian, add ham or bacon for extra smokiness.
- 1 pound dried black beans (2 cups) Add to list
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil Add to list
- 2 medium onions, finely chopped, 1⁄3 cup reserved for garnish Add to list
- 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped Add to list
- 2 large stalks celery, chopped Add to list
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped Add to list
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced Add to list
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin Add to list
- 4 cups water Add to list
- 2 cups brewed coffee Add to list
- 1 piece of ham or bacon, chopped (optional) Add to list
- 1 bay leaf Add to list
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus more if needed Add to list
- 6 tablespoons sour cream or plain Greek yogurt for garnish (optional) Add to list
- Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish (optional) Add to list
Pick over beans; rinse well. Place in a large bowl with cold water to cover by 2 inches. Let soak for at least 6 hours or overnight. Drain.
Heat oil in a soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add all but 1⁄3 cup of the onions, bell pepper, celery, jalapeño and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables begin to brown, 5 to 8 minutes. Add cumin and cook, stirring, 1 minute more. Add the beans, water, coffee, ham (if using) and bay leaf; cover and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Skim off any foam that rises to the top, reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the beans are very tender, about 11⁄2 hours. Remove bay leaf. Stir in salt.
Let cool slightly then pureé about half of the soup in a blender or food processor until fairly smooth, using caution if the soup is still hot. Return the pureéd soup to the pot and heat through.
Serve the soup garnished with the reserved chopped onion, a dollop of sour cream (or yogurt) and cilantro, if desired.