Black Bean Corn Soup

Today’s soup is an ode to autumn. Honestly, is there anything more comforting on a cool night than a hearty bowl of homemade soup?

This Black Bean Corn Soup recipe features black beans cooked from scratch and fresh corn, garnished with tomatoes and cilantro. While it is possible to make this recipe using canned beans, I highly recommend using dried beans. This does require overnight soaking, but the flavor is much better when the beans are cooked slowly in the aromatics (onions, garlic and bay leaves). I will admit that this recipe takes longer to cook than the other soup recipes I have shared, but the hands-on time is fairly minimal and this recipe makes LOTS of soup. Make some early in the week and enjoy all week long!

This recipe is naturally vegan, gluten-free and delicious. Bon appétit!

Black Bean Corn Soup
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Black Bean Corn Soup

Takes , Serves 8+

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup EVOO
  • 1 medium-sized yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 lb black beans (dried weight)*
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable bouillon
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste (about ½ of a 6-oz can)
  • 2 ears of corn, kernels sliced off
  • 1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce, optional (not enough to be spicy, just adds good flavor!)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Diced tomatoes and cilantro to garnish, if desired
*Note that this is the weight of the beans dried, they weigh more after they have soaked. Be sure to soak them in plenty of water for at least 8 hours before cooking. Drain before adding to the soup. If using canned black beans, you can use 4 15-oz cans of black beans, including the liquid. Add enough water to cover the beans plus 1 inch and reduce cooking time in step 2 below to 30 minutes.

Instructions:

  1. Heat EVOO in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, chili powder and cumin and cook until onions start to brown, about 7 minutes.
  2. Add pre-soaked black beans, enough water to cover beans plus 2 inches, bay leaves, vegetable bouillon, and tomato paste. Bring to boil and then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until beans are soft, about 1½ hours, stirring every ten minutes or so. If soup gets too thick while cooking, add water, 1 cup at a time. (The end result should be thick and chunky, so you won’t want to add too much water, but you also don’t want the beans getting too dry.)
  3. Add corn and cilantro to soup and cook for about ten minutes until corn is soft.
  4. Remove from heat and add lime juice, hot sauce and salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot with tomatoes and cilantro.

Note: I like to sprout my beans before cooking them, which significantly increases the nutritional value, makes them more digestible, and less likely to cause gassiness that beans are so well-known for. Sprouting does take a little bit longer, but is easy to do and involves little hands-on time. To sprout black beans: After soaking for at least 8 hours, strain and rinse. Leave in strainer over a plate until “tails” form on at least half of the beans, about 24 hours. While the beans are sprouting, be sure to rinse at least once every 8 hours, then cook as you would any pre-soaked beans. For full step-by-step instructions on sprouting beans, check out this link.