Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Spicy Black Bean Soup

Chock full of veggies! (The color comes from the tomatoes, unlike most soups in Korea where the red is from the spicy pepper flakes/paste.)

I had some black beans from cooking burritos in the past, but as I'm leaving in 2 months and don't plan to go to Costco to get other ingredients I need for burritos (like tortillas and salsa), I decided to find some other black bean recipes and try them out. This is the second time I've made this heavenly soup. It is one of the most delicious, healthy, filling, and just plain awesome things I've ever cooked in my life. It has a hearty Western-style soup flavor, all with ingredients relatively easy to find in Korea.

I was inspired by two recipes on the web: mainly, I adapted Vegan Black Bean Soup from AllRecipes, but I also borrowed some ideas from Black Beans and Rice at Casual Kitchen, one of my favorite food blogs for all kind of reasons.

A couple notes first: I don't track amounts very strictly when I cook. I have a good sense of how some flavors balance each other, but I often add a LOT more garlic and spices as I go to alter the flavor. The instructions here correlate to what I used this time, but you can use more or less or change some veggies and spices to suit your own tastes.

Everything but the!


About 1.5 cups dried black beans, soaked overnight, drained, and then cooked with just a bit of olive oil and salt added halfway through cooking (if you have never cooked dry beans before, this is kind of tricky... do some reading on the internet)
1.5 onions, roughly chopped
1 carrot, sliced
3 large stalks celery, chopped
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
1 can of corn
4 large tomatoes (chop two and a half, preserving as much of the juice as you can and blend the remaining 1.5)
4 tbsp olive oil
about 1/2 cup red pepper flakes (this is a sub for chili powder using Korean 고추가루)
2 tbsp cumin (I found this at a "global market" in Korea)
3 spicy green peppers
4ish tbsp crushed/smashed garlic
pinch of black pepper powder

So... once you've prepped all your beans and veggies (this takes awhile) you can begin:
1. Heat a large soup pan over low heat and add the olive oil, onions, carrot, celery, bell pepper, and garlic. Sautee for about 5 minutes.
2. Add the beans and the corn and about 2 cups of water. Stir well. Add all of the spices. Cook for about 5 more minutes.
3. Add the tomatoes (chopped and blended) and the spicy green peppers. (While #1&2 are happening is usually when I chop the tomatoes, so they'll go in not all at the same time--like 1/2 a tomato at a time).
4. Cook for 20-30 minutes on low heat.
Tip: Taste at about 10 or 15 and add more spices as you like.

This yielded about 12 bowls of soup for us (which we will go through in like 3 days... seriously it's that good). Be warned that eating two bowls in the same meal is painfully filling.

Serve with rice and enjoy!!!

P.S. Bonus ingredient: A Min Gi to remark how amazing a cook you are and do all the dishes when you're done. I highly recommend this. ;-)


  1. I thought I'd stop by and thank you for the kind words! And this recipe looks excellent--I absolutely love it when a reader finds tips or recipes on my blog and then is able to put them to use in creative ways. Keep it going!

    Dan @ Casual Kitchen

  2. I have a good black bean recipe I can send, if you're interested. It's of the black-beans-and-rice variety, by flavored with vinegar. Also, today's trivia: soup will keep for up to a week without being refrigerated, if you boil it for a minute each day. Vegetarian soup, at least.



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