Brazilian Black Bean Soup

Tony asked me if I would do more bean dishes. Of course I will. There’s nothing like a comforting bowl of beans and rice on a cold day. I see no end in sight for different types of dishes. I keep thinking that I will run out of options, but so far I haven’t. It’s been a long time since I did white bean chili, which I find a bit boring at this point. We are in love with Indian dal recipes, because they are so delicious. However, I keep looking at other cultures for inspiration and I found one in this recipe from Eating Well for Brazilian Black Bean Soup. What’s interesting about this recipe, and many of the others that I have come across, is that canned beans are being used instead of dry. Don’t get me wrong, I love canned beans. To me, a soup needs dry beans. Canned beans don’t soak up any of the flavors of the dish like dry beans do. When I make Hoppin’ John, I always use dry beans and it comes out WAY better. If you are concerned about the cook time, use an Instant Pot. That cooks the beans way faster. I’m thinking about getting one myself, but I don’t know if I want another appliance. I’ll keep you posted on whether or not I break down and buy one. Now on to the recipe. Here are the original stats:

Here’s what I changed:

  • I swapped out the canned beans for dry to reduce the sodium.
  • I replaced the tomatoes with red bell pepper and pumpkin puree to increase the vitamins A and C.
  • I increased the servings from 8 to 10 to lower the calories
  • I deleted the added salt to reduce the sodium.
  • I added some brown rice for added texture and protein.

Here are the final stats:

Here is the final recipe:

Brazilian Black Bean Soup

Serves 10

  • 18 ounces dry black beans
  • 2 jalapeño peppers
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups chopped onion
  • 2 diced carrot
  • 2 red bell peppers, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup brown rice
  • 1 15 ounce can pure pumpkin puree
  • 3 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 tablespoons lime zest
  • 5 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 3 bay leaves
  • ¾ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 4 cups chopped kale
  • Chopped scallions for garnish
  1. Add beans to a pot and cover with water.  Let soak 6 hours or overnight.  Drain.
  2. Heat a medium skillet over high heat. Split jalapeños in half lengthwise, remove ribs and seeds, and place skin-side down in the pan. Carefully cover the pan with foil and cook until the skins are blackened, 7 to 10 minutes. Let cool, then dice.
  3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper and carrot and cook, stirring often, until starting to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking, stirring often, until soft, 3 to 5 minutes more. Add garlic and the diced jalapeños and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more.
  4. Stir in broth, scraping up any browned bits. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Add beans, pumpkin, molasses, rice, lime zest and juice, cumin, paprika, cayenne, bay leaves, and pepper. Cover and return to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook, covered, for 1 hour.
  5. Remove bay leaves. Puree 4 cups of the soup in a blender or use an immersion blender in the pot (use caution when pureeing hot liquids), then stir it back into the pot. Stir in kale, cover, and simmer until tender, about 5 minutes. Serve garnished with scallions, if desired.

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