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Black Bean Soup with Tomato-Tomatillo Salsa

Source: Fine Cooking - Issue No. 19
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Active Time:  15 Minutes
Total Time:  1 Hour 15 Minutes
  6 cups
Epazote, an herb often used in Mexican cooking, adds an authentic, musky undertone to this soup, and some claim it makes beans easier to digest. Look for epazote in your local Mexican grocery store. If you can't find chipotle chiles, use cayenne instead. Your soup will have nice spicy kick, but you'll miss the distinctive smoky flavor that's found only in chipotles.
For the Soup:
1 pound  dried black beans
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 large onions, finely diced
4 to 6 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup peeled, seeded, and chopped tomato (fresh or canned)
Small sprig fresh or dried epazote (optional)
1 tablespoon finely chopped canned chipotle chile (or 1/4 tsp. cayenne; more to taste)
1 teaspoon ground cumin seed
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 teaspoon salt
For the Salsa:
1 large tomato, finely diced
3 medium tomatillos (husks removed), finely diced
1 small red onion, very finely diced
1 serrano or jalapeno chile, very finely diced
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Salt to taste

creme fraiche or sour cream
Black Bean Soup with Tomato-Tomatillo Salsa Recipe at
Pick over the beans. Soak if desired and drain. In a deep, heavy-based pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 5 min. Add the beans, garlic, and 6 cups cold water. Bring to a boil, skimming any foam that rises to the surface. Reduce to a simmer and when the beans are soft, after about 1 hour, add the tomato, epazote if using, chipotle chile, cumin, coriander, and salt. Continue cooking until the beans start to break down and the broth begins to thicken. Taste for seasoning; add salt and pepper if needed. If you’re serving this soup immediately, you may want to thicken it by pureeing a cup or two of the beans in a blender or food processor and then recombining them with the rest of the soup. The soup will thicken on its own if refrigerated overnight.

In a small bowl, combine the tomato, tomatillos, onion, jalapeno, and cilantro. Taste for seasoning and add salt as needed. This salsa will taste best if assembled no more than an hour before serving.

Ladle the soup into individual serving bowls and garnish each portion with a spoonful of creme fraiche and the salsa.

Serving size = 1 cup

Recipe reprinted by permission of Fine Cooking Magazine. All rights reserved.
Date Added: 01/01/2008
Part of These Recipe Collections Find Similar Recipes »
 Hearty Comfort: Black Bean Soup
 Warm Southwestern Soups
Nutrition Facts per Serving
Yield:   6 cups
Calories: 358
Sodium: 790mg
Fiber: 14g
Carbohydrates, Total: 59g
Protein: 18g
% Cal. from Fat: 15%
Fat. Total: 6g
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