This Smoky Black Bean Soup is made with bacon, ham, smoked paprika, and brewed coffee. Everything is cooked just right, so serve it simple, with fresh lime juice, sliced avocado, and some cheese, for a perfect family meal.
I love beans. I could never get tired of them. I also love soups and find them to be THE complete meal. Soups are designed to feed a crowd and, when done right, are always packed with nutrients and lots of flavors.
This soup is perfect. It is not completely creamy, but it is not too chunky or too thin. It has the right amount of meat and vegetables and the right amount of spices and smokiness.
The secret ingredient
The secret ingredient is coffee, yes, you read that right. Brewed coffee, together with the ham, bacon, and smoked paprika, adds just the right amount of smokiness to this soup.
You might think it is a weird ingredient to add to a soup, but what do you think about my famous Chili Soup with chocolate and chile Chipotle?
The reality is that chocolate and coffee are great ingredients in savory recipes. Coffee beans have a naturally bold, bitter flavor that enhances the richness of pork meat.
What ingredients do you need?
For specific amounts, please refer to the recipe card at the bottom of the article.
I am talking here about American-style bacon. It is cut from the belly of the pig, cured in salt, and smoked. It could be very lean or fatty, depending on selection and how the pig was raised.
You can use any bacon you like, from thin to thick, but it has to be smoked. I like either hickory or applewood smoked bacon.
- Smoked Ham
Use the ham you like. You will need about a pound. Remember, we make a big batch of soup, and more meat makes the soup heartier.
- Black Beans
We will use four cans of black beans in this recipe. I used both the beans and the liquid. Using canned beans reduces the time to make this soup, and it is totally worth it.
I used regular onions here. You can also use red onion if this is all you have in the pantry.
Carrots are the base for most soups, together with onions and celery. I like to use organic carrots as often as I can.
- Green celery
Green celery brings color and texture to the soup, and it is part of the basic ingredients for most soups.
- Red Bell Pepper
I used red bell pepper because I love its sweetness. However, yellow, orange, or even green pepper can be used.
You could use garlic powder, but the soup taste will be much better if you use regular garlic.
- Crushed tomatoes (canned)
We will need 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes. It doesn't matter what brand you buy.
I used cumin and smoked paprika.
- Chicken or vegetable broth
I usually work with unsalted or low-sodium broth, as I like to control the salt in my food. Use what you want, chicken broth has a little more protein than vegetable broth, but both are very good. If you don't have any, just use water.
Optional for serving:
- Lemon or lime juice
Lemon or lime juice gives more character to the soup and makes it a little tangy and delicious.
- Fresh avocado, shredded Cheddar cheese, and tortilla chips.
How to make the soup
Step 1. Prepare the meat and vegetables.
Dice the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, and pepper. Set them aside.
Step 2. Cook the meats.
Dice the bacon and ham. Add them to a large pot over medium heat and cook them until the bacon releases its fat.
Step 3. Add the vegetables.
Add the olive oil, carrots, onions, celery, garlic, and pepper and cook together for 5-6 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften.
Step 4. Add the rest of the ingredients.
Add the can of crushed tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, cumin, smoked paprika, broth, coffee, and beans. Bring the soup to a boil, cover the pot and lower the heat. Allow the soup to simmer for 25-30 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
Step 5. Serve.
Stir in the lemon juice before serving the soup. If you prefer it thicker, you can also puree part of it. Optional, add toppings like cubed or sliced fresh avocado, shredded Cheddar cheese, and tortilla chips.
We had it simple without the toppings, but it is all based on your preference.
What to do with leftovers
This smoky black bean soup is great for lunch or dinner. The recipe makes quite a lot of soup so the leftovers will keep well in the fridge for up to four to five days.
Can I freeze this soup?
Yes, definitely. Place it at room temperature in a freezer container or freezer bag and freeze it for up to two months. It can be reheated in the microwave or on the stove.
More soup recipes
Check out the web story for this recipe: How to make Smoky Black Bean Soup
Smoky Black Bean Soup
- 4 slices of bacon
- 16 ounce smoked ham chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 medium onions chopped
- 3 carrots diced
- 3 celery ribs chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 medium red bell pepper
- 60 ounces black beans canned 4 cans(use the juice as well)
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 28 ounces can crushed tomatoes
- 1 ½ tablespoons cumin
- 1 ½ tablespoons smoked paprika
- 3 ½ cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 ½ cups brewed coffee
- 1 lemon or lime juice
- Dice the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, and pepper. Set them aside. Dice the bacon and ham.
- Add the bacon and ham to a large pot over medium heat. Cook them until the bacon releases its fat.
- Add the olive oil, diced carrots, onions, celery, garlic, and pepper and cook together for 5-6 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften.
- Add the can of crushed tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, cumin, smoked paprika, broth, coffee, and beans. Bring the soup to a boil, cover the pot and lower the heat. Allow the soup to simmer for 25-30 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
- Before serving, stir in the lime/lemon juice. If you prefer the soup thicker, you can also puree part of it.
- Serve it with more fresh lime juice and some diced avocado. Optional, add shredded cheese and tortilla chips.