Smoky Black Bean Soup

March/April 2011

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (117 votes)

This will probably be the most hauntingly delicious black bean soup you’ve ever tasted. The coffee adds a slightly toasty, woodsy background note. The optional ham hock adds smoky, salty ham flavor. Serve with a mixed green salad or a grilled cheese sandwich with pickled jalapeños. Recipe by Joyce Hendley for EatingWell.

Smoky Black Bean Soup

11 Reviews for Smoky Black Bean Soup

Delicious with Some Additions

I like this recipe and spiced it up in the following manner:
I added approximately 4 slices of cut up applewood smoked bacon to the veggies. I didn't use the ham hock although I'm sure it would give it more flavor. I halved the beans and coffee (I'm slowly trying more beans) and I used canned beans. I also added about a cup of spaghetti sauce and some smoked paprika and a teaspoon of sugar to cut down the acidity. I sprinkled a little lime juice at the end for extra zest also. I think using sweet italian sausage or chorizo would also give this soup a lot of flavor.

Finally eating black beans
Bland. Bland. Bland.

I had really high hopes for this recipe!

We added cayenne, garlic powder, salt salt salt, hot sauce.... and lots of all of those things...which made it taste ok. The coffee does absolutely nothing. I would not make this again.

Cook Ahead

I put in a ham hock, so in order to remove the resulting fat I cooked it a day ahead, let it cool, then took off the fat before gently reheating. The ham also provided the salt, so didn't need to add more.


I loved it I follow recipe but added some saizon seasoning I thought that gave it the extra kick that it needed

Smoky, yes, but very bland

I had to make some changes due to food allergies and to deal with what was seasonal and in the pantry already.

I omitted the onions but increased the garlic
I used a ham hock, but mine is fresh from the pig, not smoked or cured
I used regular sour cream
I used dried ancho chilies instead of fresh jalapeno peppers

The taste was indeed quite smoky, but lacked any sort of brightness or zing. I grow a much spicier garlic than you'll find in the grocery store, but it gets lost in the starch and long cooking. The regular fat sour cream helped add body and I also added a splash of lemon juice when plating for acidity.

Nonetheless, I had to add quite a bit of hot sauce -- and I'm not a hot sauce fan -- to want to finish the bowl.

As a base recipe for black bean soup, it's not bad, expect the seasoning to need to be reworked and ramped up for your tastes. Or consider serving with fresh tomato salsa as well as the sour cream.

Easy to make, Most ingredients already in your pantry

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