Cheap and Easy Black Bean Soup
This is a great recipe to make during a big snowstorm, on a spring-cleaning day, or anytime you will be in the house for a few hours. This black bean soup recipe is easy and economical, and the soup is delicious! Using dried beans allows for a richer, crispier flavor and consistency, although it will take longer to make than if you used canned black beans. Either way, the soup will be a hit. Bon apetit!
- · 1 lb. bag of dried black beans
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3-5 peeled, sliced carrots
- 2-3 celery stalks, sliced
- 4 chicken bouillon cubes
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon celery seed
- 1 teaspoon dried mustard seed
- 1 pinch cumin
- 3-4 bay leaves
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
Rinse and sort the black beans discarding any that are off-color or broken. Place in a stock or other large pot and soak overnight to soften beans. For a quicker method, place beans in pot and cover with water; bring to a boil then reduce heat to slow boil and cook for 1-2 hours. Add water as needed to keep covered.
After beans are done soaking/boiling, drain and rinse beans, and wash pot to remove all traces of dirty or discolored water. Return beans to pot.
Cover beans with fresh water (approximately 2 quarts); bring to a boil. Add olive oil. Reduce heat and cover; simmer for 1-1 ½ hours, stirring occasionally. Add a little water as needed to make sure beans stay covered.
If beans are tender (check by poking with a fork), then go on to next step. If not, cook longer, making sure that the beans are simmering.
Add 4 chicken bouillon cubes, pepper, paprika, cumin, celery seed, mustard seed, bay leaves, and balsamic vinegar.
As beans are cooking, chop carrots and celery into small pieces. When you have decided beans are tender, add vegetables to pot.
Continue to simmer one hour or more, adding water to maintain desired consistency. Add more spices to taste, if needed.
Remove from heat and serve! Refrigerate unused portion to eat the next day, or freeze and reheat as needed.
- Add more or less of each spice to suit your individual taste.
- Mash beans when tender to make thicker soup base.
- Add bacon or ham pieces for a “smoky” flavor.
- Use canned beans in a pinch to shorten cooking time. Rinse canned beans and then follow recipe by adding the water and the ingredients to the beans right away, bring to a boil and then simmer for an hour or more, stirring occasionally and adding water as necessary.