Smoky Black Bean Soup

Smoky Black Bean Soup

Smoky Black Bean SoupThis past winter I started making soup regularly. My mom always made soup when I was growing up with the turkey leftover from Thanksgiving. From that I developed a chicken soup that was simple and easy. And that’s where I stayed. No potato, cream of broccoli or mulligatawny for me. I stuck to my tried and true chicken, veggie and noodles, or if I was feeling really crazy: RICE!

So this year, I challenged myself to try new recipes and forced myself to cook out of my comfort zone. It worked; we had some great soups this winter. I’m going to post about the more successful soups throughout this year but I wanted to start with one of my favorites Smoky Black Bean Soup. It wasn’t actually a new recipe for me but the finished recipe is decidedly different from the original.

My first soup experiment was about 6 years ago with a black bean soup I found on The Food Network. It was delicious, my family loved it, I could make it for friends and it was pretty simple. The problem was, the comments on The Food Network website (at that time, there are now hundreds of comments on that recipe) said repeatedly: do not change this recipe, follow it exactly or it won’t turn out, don’t even think about using 11 strips of bacon if it says 10, you will ruin your soup! Being a soup novice, I was a little intimidated. Being of the mind-set “you can’t control me” I was a little irritated. I followed the recipe, I was too afraid not to. The soup was good, but I wanted it to be better.

As the years progressed each time I made the soup I started changing things. First I tried ground turkey instead of bacon. That was okay, but the original was better.

Next I tried ground beef and a little liquid smoke, it was better than the ground turkey but the original was still better. I had been trying to get away from the bacon but clearly, the commenters were correct, “don’t mess with the bacon!”

Back to the bacon I went. It was good, really good. I realized what I wasn’t satisfied with: the broth. It was thin. Tasty, but thin. I wanted it to be richer, almost like a chili and that became my next focus.

So after a couple more random tries with varied results, my most recent deviation from the original recipe is The One. This is the recipe I will stick to every time I make smoky black bean soup in the future. I won’t change it, I love it, it’s perfect. Let me know if you agree!


Smoky Black Bean Soup

Smoky Black Bean Soup


  • 1lb bacon, chopped, sautéed
  • 2 med onion, diced
  • 6/7 lg cloves garlic, pressed
  • 32 oz. chicken stock
  • 1 can Ro*Tel (tomatoes with chilis)
  • 1 lg can crushed tomatoes
  • 2T ketchup
  • 2t Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 lg cans black beans, drained
  • 1 chipotle pepper, chopped with sauce
  • 1-2T Sriracha chili sauce
  • 1T roasted coriander
  • 1T roasted cumin
  • 1T celery salt
  • 2T chili powder
  • juice of 1 lime


  • Sauté bacon, cook through. Drain most of the fat.
  • Add onion, sauté 4-5 minutes until translucent. Add garlic, sauté until you can smell the garlic (about 1-2 minutes).
  • Add coriander, cumin, celery salt, and chili powder. Saute 1-2 minutes, until you can smell the spices.
  • Add chicken stock, Ro*Tel, crushed tomatoes, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, black beans, chipotle, Sriracha. Bring to a boil, simmer for at least 10 minutes and add lime juice.
  • Garnish with fresh sliced jalapeno, cilantro, sour cream and/or shredded mild cheese.
  • This soup is spicy. You can play with the Sriracha and the chipotle if you would like a milder soup.
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Do you love black bean soup? Will you give this one a try? I’d love to hear about it if you do.



  1. Oh my! I bet that is yummy!! I have been eating a lot of soup lately but haven’t tried a black bean soup yet. Perhaps I will, using your recipe.

  2. This sounds like a good recipe to try! I have been also getting outside of my comfort zone this past winter, trying things that I never thought I would–many of my attempts have been with the slow cooker AKA crock pot but you really have to think of these recipes at the beginning of the day to set them up and turn them on–forgetting about them until dinner. This recipe sounds like one that could be made quickly, relatively speaking, and the combination of spices and ingredients sound yummy. Can’t wait to try. Thank you, Stephanie!

  3. but its spicy….. 🙂 I will send Tim over to have some next time!

  4. Sounds interesting. For those of us in UK, what is rotelle?

  5. I’ve had the privilege of having had the perfected version, and it is PERFECT!! So happy to have the recipe so I can make it myself… thank you!

  6. dishofdailylife

    I’ll have to try it! You know I love making soup!! I use bacon in mine too….bacon does make everything better…at least that is our motto in our house!

  7. Stopping by from #LOBS. Yum! I wonder if you could throw all of these ingredients in the crock pot and come out with equally yummy results? I love hearty soups and chili from the crockpot in winter.

  8. I bet it would be just as good with veggie stock – sounds awesome 🙂

    • I think it would be. With chili powder and chipotle peppers you will still get the smoky flavor without the bacon and chicken stock. You’ll have to let me know how it turns out.

  9. Pingback: Warm and Toasty! - "So, I've been thinking..."

  10. Sounds good – I love soup so I have to give this one a try!

  11. black bean soup is one of my favorites – this sounds so flavorful, and very easy for me to make vegetarian – thank you!

  12. You’re a woman after my own heart – reading the comments and then making changes, here and there, until the recipe perfectly suits you. I’ll bet this version is fabulous!

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