Black Bean Soup With Corn And Peppers

BlackBeanSoup2The soup comes together in three parts, on different days, because I don’t have the luxury of time to make it all at once. Although, that means you can do a lot of things with it.

First – Make the black bean paste. Use these instructions. Refrigerate after cooling.

Second – Make the basic black bean soup, to which you can add corn or other vegetables later (or not).

  • Dice to about a 1/4 cup each: red bell pepper, onion, tomatoes. Mince 1 or 2 cloves garlic. (Or use a garlic press.)
  • Simmer vegetables in about a cup of water until soft, about 10 minutes.
  • Add about a cup of bean paste, 3 or 4 tablespoons tomato sauce, a teaspoon tamari, and spices. It should be thick.
  • Stir well. Bring back to a slow simmer, about 5 minutes. Cover and remove from heat. Refrigerate after cooling.

Third – Steam, boil, or otherwise cook the corn – fresh, frozen, canned, whatever you have. For a single serving, I toss a few tablespoons frozen corn into a small pot, cover with water, and simmer for 3-5 minutes. Add as much of the basic black bean soup as you feel like eating. Thin to desired consistency. Heat. Season. Serve.


  • I’ve tried making a black bean paste with canned beans and never had success. Many times the dried beans won’t make a paste either. And sometimes they have, as Harold McGee terms it, “hard to cook defect,” meaning they stay hard no matter how long you cook them.
  • I don’t use any fat or oil in this recipe. Many people saute the onions and peppers in oil.
  • I use a lot of spices. Most you’d find in any off-the-shelf chili powder – onion, garlic, cumin, coriander, paprika, oregano. I add a touch more cloves and some dry mustard and allspice too. Not a lot!
  • The third part above makes this like eating fast food. It all comes together in less than 10 minutes. The work is in the first two steps.
  • The background of this soup is like melted chocolate. Same color, same consistency. It’s really good, but you have to find a fresh bean. The bag I’m using now was pure luck!
  • The more you eat beans, the less gas you’ll have. I promise.

4 thoughts on “Black Bean Soup With Corn And Peppers

  1. Marj

    I’ve been making the bean paste ever since you shared it with us in previous posts. Have you ever tried it in a slow cooker thereby eliminating the soak? Realizing soaking the beans does not entail lots of effort, I wondered if the consistency might be different somehow especially if the beans are old. Or if they’re old, both a soak and the slow cooker. Think I’ll give it a try. Have not yet tried black beans nor limas, your photos are telling me to get busy.


    1. Bix Post author

      I used to use a slow cooker, a crock pot, years ago. I don’t recall why I gave up on it. I remember I had to leverage a toothpick under the lid to allow steam to escape, or it would hiss and bubble water all over the place. Well, maybe it wasn’t a fancy dancy one? I do think a slow cooker could get you close to paste without soaking the beans. I think you’d still have to mash them with the back of a spoon near the end.

      A pressure cooker I did try. I also gave up on it. It left the beans intact, so I’d still have to cook them further, it was a lot of washing up, and it lent an overcooked taste that I didn’t care for. It did, however, reduce the cooking time.


      1. shaun

        FWIW – I’m a pressure cooker fan. Given a little more time than I would usually cook them, I can get a pretty good paste out of the different dried beans I’ve tried.

        I should note that the material your pressure cooker is made of seems to make a difference on how it cooks. I’ve had very poor results with stainless, but aluminum has done very well for me.

        Regardless. BEANS!



  2. Bix Post author

    Because I cook beans every day, or at least try to!, I usually have something ready in the rotation that I can make soup from in a hurry.

    As to storage, the paste, especially if it’s quite dry, lasts almost a week in the fridge. The soup, not so long.

    Another thing I do with the bean paste is make a bread spread. I’ll try to throw up a recipe (or you can too if you do it).



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