Black Bean Soup
Prep time 15mins
Cook time 55mins
Serves or Makes: 5

Recipe Card


  • 1 pound dried black beans (I love Midnight Black Beans), soaked overnight
  • 1 1/2 quarts water
  • 3/4 pound tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and 3/4" diced
  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced into 1/2" pieces
  • 1 poblano or green bell pepper, seeded and 3/4" diced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 -4 cups chicken or vegetable stock (use 2 cups if you prefer a thick soup)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon chile powder
  • 3 tablespoons cornmeal


  • Step 1

    Drain soaked black beans, if desired, and add to a large pot with 1 ½ quarts water. (Note: I cook my beans in the water used for soaking, just measure it and make sure there is 1 ½ quarts water to cook the beans in.) Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to medium-low and simmer uncovered for 35-40 minutes, until a few beans from the pot are tender. The water level should reduce to just above the beans.

  • Step 2

    Meanwhile, heat broiler to high.

  • Step 3

    Arrange tomatillos, scallions, pepper, and garlic cloves in an even layer on a small sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and cumin seeds. Broil for 20 minutes, rotating pan halfway through.

  • Step 4

    Stir in tomatillo mixture, stock, bay leaves, chile powder, and cornmeal to black beans and simmer for another 20 minutes. Season with 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, then taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.

  • Step 5

    Remove 3-4 big ladlefuls of soup and puree until smooth with a blender, then stir back into the pot. (This step is optional, but gives body to the soup while maintaining some nice texture.)

  • Step 6

    Serve in bowls with toppings, if desired.