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May 6, 2010

Recipe for black bean soup with Ro*Tel

Black bean soup with RoTel 

Like a little black dress, a little black bean soup should be in every cook's repertoire, ready to entertain, or sustain, at a moment's notice. In a pinch, you can start with canned beans, but if you have time and a slow cooker, do what I do -- cook up two pounds of dried black beans every couple of weeks, and store them in the freezer. To make a classic black bean soup, put a few cups of cooked beans in a pot, add some pantry ingredients, cook for 20 minutes, whiz with an immersion blender, and top with your choice of chopped cilantro, onion, avocado, or tomato, or a bit of sour cream or Greek yogurt. What could be easier?

Black bean soup with Ro*Tel

Ro*Tel comes in mild or hot; use whichever one you prefer. You know which one I used! If you can't find Ro*Tel, look in the canned tomato aisle of your supermarket for diced tomatoes with green chiles. Serves 4.


1 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp ground ancho chile powder
1/2 tsp Mexican oregano
4 cups cooked black beans
1 10-oz can Ro*Tel
2 cups water
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
Juice of 1/2 lime, or more to taste
Optional garnishes: chopped cilantro, onion, avocado or tomato; shredded Monterey Jack cheese; crumbled cotija, queso blanco, or feta cheese; sour cream or Greek yogurt


In a Dutch oven or heavy stock pot, heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, 2-3 minutes. Stir in the cumin,ancho powder and Mexican oregano for 30 seconds, until the spices give off their fragrance. Add beans, Ro*Tel and water.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cook for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure the beans don't stick. Remove pot from the heat, and puree with an immersion blender (or in a standing blender or food processor, in batches if necessary). Season with salt, pepper and lime juice to taste. Serve hot, with garnishes on the side.

Print recipe only.


Posted by: Kalynskitchen | May 6, 2010 at 02:10 PM

Oh yes, I can tell I like this.

Posted by: pam | May 6, 2010 at 04:14 PM

Perfect! I do need to get some more beans in the freezer!

Posted by: Louise | May 6, 2010 at 08:15 PM

I can tell I'm gonna love this!

Posted by: Alta | May 7, 2010 at 09:42 AM

I love black beans, and black bean soup is one of my favorites. And RoTel? AWESOME!

Posted by: CJ McD | May 7, 2010 at 09:58 AM

This is going to be a standard in my soup roation. Love this!

Posted by: T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types | May 7, 2010 at 02:50 PM

I've started to make big batches of black beans based on your advice, so I can have them on hand to make soup. So, what do you think is the male version of the little black dress?

Posted by: Lydia | May 7, 2010 at 09:15 PM

Kalyn, this soup really loves cilantro -- and I know you do, too!

Louise, I hope so. We really like the flavor.

Alta, doesn't Ro*Tel make everything better? It adds a nice little kick to this soup.

CJ, I adore black beans and have a few black bean soup variations in my repertoire. Stay tuned!

TW, the little tuxedo jacket?

Posted by: Van Kummer | November 5, 2011 at 02:21 PM

I love how easy it is to print your recipes - and without ads, photos etc.
Great website.

Posted by: bobbi schmidt | May 22, 2012 at 01:52 PM

HI! I just found your site, and love it:) Can you tell me how you freeze your black beans, what do you put them in and what size portions? Thank you!!

Posted by: Lydia | May 22, 2012 at 08:41 PM

Bobbi, I freeze black beans in plastic containers with tight-fitting lids, being sure to leave at least half an inch of headroom. As to portion size, that's really up to you. I freeze in packs that would serve four, whether in soup or used some other way.

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  • I'm Lydia Walshin, a longtime food writer who lives and cooks in a real log house. If I could, I'd eat Chinese noodles, grapes, ice cream and soup every day.
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