Here’s a super easy and delicious soup. Omit the ham, and it’s vegan. Omit the black beans, though, and it’s not black bean soup any longer. So don’t do that.
I had a lot of cooked beans in the freezer, along with the water they were cooked in, which makes a great base instead of prepackaged broth. So, I thought I’d give it a try. The concoction turned out really good, and it was quite filling, enough so to be a meal in itself.
What you’ll need for the basic soup:
- 10-16 oz, cooked ham, diced
- 1-2 onions, coarsely chopped
- Minced garlic cloves or garlic paste (you decide how much)
- 28 oz of bean water, use vegetable broth if you don’t have enough water
- 1 14-oz can diced tomatoes
- 18 oz of cooked beans
- 1-2T oil
Below are the flavoring options. I used only Korean BBQ sauce and tamarind paste to good effect. You should use whichever combination works for you, though I do recommend trying the Korean BBQ sauce and tamarind.
- 2T hot Korean BBQ sauce (this is an awesome secret ingredient)
- 2T tamarind paste
- 2T Worcestershire sauce
- 2T ketchup or tomato paste
- 1-2T chili powder
What to do:
When making black bean dip from dried beans, cook the entire 1-pound bag, retaining the water that the beans cooked in. Freeze half the beans and all of the black-bean water. Forget about them for a couple of months, then discover them and decide to make black bean soup.
When your beans and bean water are thawed or cooked for the soup, fry the diced ham at medium-high heat in a saucepan large enough for the entire batch of soup. Cook until the ham starts to brown. Remove from pan and set aside.
In the same pan at medium heat, add the oil and cook the chopped onions until softened. Add the garlic and cook an additional minute, being careful not to burn the garlic.
Now add the bean juice or vegetable stock, canned, chopped tomatoes, your flavorings and bring to a medium simmer.
When the liquid is at a steady simmer, add the beans and ham, stirring well, continuing to simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the soup is at a thickness that works for you.
When serving, add cheese or sour cream, if wanted.