Monday, January 23, 2012

Chipotle Black Bean Soup

While I have a black bean soup in my blog archives from long ago (with ugly picture to prove it), I’ve never posted a black bean soup using dried beans.  When I received a pound of black beans with my Whole Foods Market Pantry Staples challenge (my giveaway has ended but it’s not too late to enter their sweepstakes!) I knew it was time to make a soup again I’ve made once before, but hadn’t blogged.

It’s pretty lame that I don’t cook with dried beans very often.  I like the fact that there’s less waste in the packaging than canned beans, for one thing.  And I also like that they don’t have the added sodium.  With the help of a slow-cooker, the dried beans in this recipe can cook without having to pre-soak, rinse, or require watching.  This is a soup I can prep pretty quickly, and then just forget about it.  It also gave me a chance to use my new immersion blender again!  I prefer more blended beans than the original recipe calls for, so I’ve adapted the recipe below to my preferences.  I like that this black bean soup has a completely different method of prep & cooking, and also a different flavor than the other soup in my blog.  This one uses canned chipotle peppers for added depth of smokiness & heat.  While I’m sure the Toasted Crema Deb of Smitten Kitchen included in her post is fabulous, I’ve admittedly never made it.  I just dollop mine with a touch of sour cream, and sometimes add in sliced avocado if I’ve got it on hand.  It’s great on a cold winter day!

I’m submitting this post to Branny Boils Over’s Souper Bowl.  I had the pleasure of meeting Branny at BlogHerFood ’11 in Atlanta, and she’s just as nice, sweet, and funny in person as she is on her blog and twitter.  One thing about Branny is, she LOVES animals.  Her Souper Bowl is all about raising money for her favorite charity ASPCA.  I’m dedicating this post to my fur child, Jesse.  He’s only been in our lives a little over a year, but we can’t remember what we did without him.  Yes, I had a little more time in the mornings, and I didn’t lay on the floor to get a tennis ball out from under the bed or couch 3x a day, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I love to see his face light up & him leap into the air when we say the magic words “wanna go for a ride” or even better “wanna go to the park”.  I may find it a bit annoying when I’m trying to type a blog post, and he keeps putting his toy on my keyboard so he can fetch, but he makes up for it when he snuggles up next to me (as he is right now).  And best of all, on those late nights when I arrive home from work the same time Nathan is leaving for work, around 2 am, I invite him onto the bed so I still have someone to snuggle with.

Just like the black bean soup, my dark doggy is hard to photograph!  And please ignore the dirty window.  I can wash the window, and it looks like that again in >24 hours.  Homeboy takes his self-appointed role of neighborhood watch VERY seriously.

It’s not too late to join her Souper Bowl, you have until Jan 31st.  Head over to her blog for more info.


Chipotle Black Bean Soup

Yield: 6 servings

The instructions on the cooking of the beans has varying times. Deb's were done in 2 hours 45 minutes, mine were done in more like 4 hours. The original recipe called for 6 hours. I suggest checking yours after 3 hours, but plan for more cooking time if necessary.


1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium-size red onions, chopped
1 medium-size red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium-size green bell pepper, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 teaspoons ground cumin
1 16-ounce package dried black beans
1 tablespoon chopped chipotle chiles from a can (use less if you prefer less heat)
7 cups hot water (tap water is fine)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Optional toppings:
sour cream
greek yogurt
crema or creme fraiche


Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and both bell peppers and sauté until beginning to brown, about eight minutes. Add garlic and cumin; stir one minute. Transfer mixture to 6-quart slow cooker. Add beans and chipotles, then 7 cups hot water. Cover and cook on high until beans are very tender, about 3 hours, but longer if necessary. [See note up top.]

Transfer four cups bean mixture to blender; puree until smooth. Return puree to remaining soup in slow cooker. Stir in lime juice, salt, and pepper. Adjust seasonings to taste. Ladle soup into bowls. Serve with desired toppings.

Per serving: calories, 314; total fat, 4 g; saturated fat, 1 g; cholesterol, 1 mg; fiber, 18 g

from Bon Appetit as seen on Smitten Kitchen.

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39 Responses to “Chipotle Black Bean Soup”

  1. 1
    itchbay — January 23, 2012 @ 9:29 pm

    Oh, yum! I can actually get chipotle chilis from my CSA over the summer, and chipotle powder. But even with the easy access, I’ve never used them in my black beans. This sounds yummy!

  2. 2
    Jen @ — January 24, 2012 @ 7:13 am

    Beautiful picture of the soup – it’s not an easy food to photograph at all. I’m the same way, I definitely don’t cook with dry beans often enough…

  3. 3
    Jessica — January 24, 2012 @ 9:26 am

    YES! I love chipotle chilies! I can’t wait to try them in this.

    P.S. Jesse is so handsome 😉

  4. 4
    Tripp — January 24, 2012 @ 3:37 pm

    That looks delicious. I love flavorful, spicy foods. There aren’t many beans that complement spicy foods as well as black beans. Can’t wait to try this!

  5. 5
    Adam — January 25, 2012 @ 11:49 am

    Chipotle…check…Black Beans…check…Soup…check. This checks all for the boxes for something Joanne and I need to try to make.

  6. 6
    branny — January 25, 2012 @ 7:53 pm

    Thanks for the participation! This looks great… better cook it up before winter is over.

  7. 7
    Marilyn — January 26, 2012 @ 8:56 am

    Crock Pot ready…now for a hike and then Off to the grocery store to get the ingredients.

  8. 8
    Tami — January 27, 2012 @ 8:11 am

    Hello!!! I found your blog via a StyleBlueprint comment 🙂 You had me at Gray and Yellow nursery!! I’m due June 2012!!!

  9. 9
    Mary — January 28, 2012 @ 9:22 am

    Made this yesterday…easy and fun. The flavor and texture were divine…and just the right amount of “heat”. I used Chipotle Powder since two grocery stores didn’t sell Chipotle Chiles…on the list to buy on my next trip to Whole Foods! Also I added to cups of cooked short grain brown rice to the soup after it was done. Perfect addition. I haven’t used my crock pot in a decade, but I think I will be keeping it on the counter for use much more often…what a perfect way to cook dried beens for soup instead of soaking them overnight…thanks so much. This recipe has been added to my fav recipes file!

  10. 10
    Fran — January 29, 2012 @ 3:05 pm

    Just finished making this- great recipe!

  11. 11
    Jaclyn — January 30, 2012 @ 11:02 am

    I wanted to compliment you on this recipe. It was sooooooooo delicious, easy and inexpensive. I loved dipping tortilla chips in it. It lasted for almost a whole week between my partner and me. This will definitely be a recipe I use year after year.

  12. 12
    Shannah @ Just Us Four — February 1, 2012 @ 8:45 am

    This looks and sounds so delicious! I can’t wait to try it. I featured this recipe on my weekly What to Cook Wednesday feature. I hope you will stop by and check it out!

  13. Pingback: Souper Bowl 2012 | Branny Boils Over

  14. 13
    branny — February 8, 2012 @ 8:02 pm

    OMG! I’m sorry I left you out of the round up. I’ve added you first!

  15. 14
    Rachel (teacher-chef) — February 9, 2012 @ 6:08 pm

    I just made this today but wasn’t reading carefully and added a whole 5oz can of Chiptole in Adobe sauce, WHOOPS!! It was a little strong flavored but with lots of sour cream and quesasillas it was awesome!

  16. 15
    Carrie — February 28, 2012 @ 11:49 am

    With a busted crock pot (literally, my hubby shattered the crock trying to use it on the stove top. oops), I cooked this in a dutch oven on 325*. Took right about 3 hours, and it was fantastic served with fresh corn cakes. I will definitely make this again!

  17. 16
    Lori — May 7, 2012 @ 11:48 am

    How many servings does it make and what is the serving size

    • Erin replied: — May 7th, 2012 @ 12:38 pm

      The original recipe states 6 main course servings.

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  21. 17
    Caroline — February 1, 2013 @ 4:40 am

    What’s the size of each portion? Thank you!

    • Erin replied: — February 1st, 2013 @ 5:51 pm

      Pretty large, about 2 cups.

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  23. 18
    Jennifer — May 14, 2013 @ 10:03 am

    I have been looking for the perfect black bean soup recipe for the crock! I can’t wait to try this! Thank you

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  25. 19
    TX Tornado — July 19, 2013 @ 6:48 pm

    What a beautiful pup! He’s lucky to have such an awesome mom. I hope to try this recipe soon.. it looks great!

  26. 20
    Nate — August 29, 2013 @ 8:46 pm

    So I was a bit skeptical after seeing that picture. “No way my soup could end up looking that appetizing,” I said. Thanks for proving me wrong!

    This recipe is AMAZING, I went a little heavier on the chipotles to get some extra kick, but your addition of the lime sent it over the edge… Unexpectly awesome!!

    Thanks for the great share; this one is going in the recipe vault for sure.

  27. 21
    Rachel Tert — October 18, 2013 @ 12:40 pm

    Hi Erin,
    This looks incredible! I can’t wait to try! I was just wondering, what type of dog do you have? He is beautiful!


    • Erin Wilburn replied: — October 18th, 2013 @ 1:44 pm

      Thank you! Our Jesse is a mutt. He has a lot of characteristics of terrier breeds, the face of a lab, and the curly tail like a pug. We love him!

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  29. 22
    Ms. Tiller — November 6, 2013 @ 7:30 am

    This recipe was a super fail. The beans never cooked down and got soft, the flavor was weak, and it left me wanting a lot more bang.

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  31. 23
    Olivia Vallone — August 11, 2014 @ 5:51 pm

    I am so excited to make this recipe! Was wondering though, could you used canned black beans instead of dried beans, and limit the cooking time??

  32. 24
    Ken — August 24, 2014 @ 7:17 pm

    Newly single and she got the blender. No big deal. I mashed (pretty much unsuccessfully) the four cups of blend with a potato masher. No matter. Excellent, excellent soup. Plenty of heat but that’s my preference.

  33. 25
    Amy R — January 8, 2015 @ 9:43 am

    I’m a little concerned about not soaking/rinsing the beans. There’s a reason we do soak and rinse – to clean the beans and remove indigestible sugars. I’m wondering how much to adjust this recipe if I choose to soak and rinse instead? Maybe a few hours on low. I’ll try and update here when I figure it out for anyone else who prefers to soak and rinse! 🙂

  34. 26
    Mary Beth — March 26, 2015 @ 5:42 pm

    I’m sorry but this recipe did not live up to it’s rave reviews. Very disappointing.

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