Black Bean Soup with Tomato-Tomatillo Salsa

  • Active Time 15m
  • Total Time 1h 15m

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 teaspoon 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



Pick over the beans. Soak if desired and drain. In a deep, heavy-bottomed pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. 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 re-combining 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 <I>Fine Cooking<. All rights reserved.

RecID 2498

nutrition information per serving

358 calories; 6g total fat; 0mg cholesterol; 790mg sodium; 59g carbohydrates; 14g fiber; 18g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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