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This soup is FABULOUS! Lovely complex flavors and texture. I did add a little ground smoked serrano pepper for an added kick. Will definitely be making this again!
Can you make this soup in a slow cooker with canned beans?
Please advise with changes, Thank you!
Hi, Trish! I’m not sure I would use canned beans as I think they would get pretty mushy. I do think you could use dried beans, though, and cook the beans and the ham together for 6 to 8 hours on low, and then add the the veggies and spices halfway through. Let us know how it works out!
Can you make the whole thing in the instant pot? Or so you need to take the beans out once they are cooked and cook the rest on the stove? Thanks!!!
Hi, Christy! You know what, you probably could! I’d try just throwing everything into the instant pot and cooking for 20 minutes. Remove the ham bone, puree using an immersion blender, and then added the shredded ham back in. Enjoy!
I’ve made this twice, first with ham hocks, too much fat not enough meat. Today with leftover (frozen) Christmas ham, much better. Followed the recipe with only an exchange of corn for sweet potato because of what I had on hand and family preference. It was wonderful! The balance of seasonings is lovely. I have a firm belief that food shouldn’t hurt but still have lots of flavor! This is a winner.
This is a great recipe…the second time I’ve made it. First time used ham hocks and found too much fat and not enough meat. Today I used leftover Chritmas ham and it was great. The other only change I made was because of what I had on hand and my husbands preference. Subbed corn for the sweet potato. The balance of seasonings is lovely. I have a firm belief that food shouldn’t hurt, but still have lots of flavor. A simple suggestion, if you don’t have a blender or an immersion blender, an old fashioned potato masher works just fine. Just mash a bit in the pot.
My husband says this soup is like candy…so delicious! I did not use a ham hock as we don’t eat red meat. A few dashes of liquid smoke added a touch of smokey flavor. I may try a the chipotle pepper next time.
I’m going to serve this with your “Kale”sadilla as you suggest. Please excuse me for posting an ingredient change. I hate it when people try to correct a recipe by adding their own ingredients, but this might help someone with the same problem I have. Cumin and I do not agree with each other, so I substitute oregano. I grow a Mexican oregano that substitutes wonderfully, but when that oregano goes dormant I just use regular.
After you freeze cooked beans, are they mushy when you eat them? I often have to make ham and beans out of leftover ham bone and season mine up where they come out like Boston baked beans. But I don’t like mushy beans.
Hi, Pat! Emma here, managing editor. Great question! I find thawed beans to be slightly softer than when they were first cooked: the freezing/thawing process softens them a little and then absorb a little more liquid when you reheat the soup. But they don’t really get overly mushy, unless they were REALLY soft before freezing. If you’re worried, I’d say to scoop out the portion you want to freeze when the beans are still a little less done than you normally like them. Enjoy!
Best black bean soup ever. I took the advice of others and used chipotle peppers instead of the ham hock and it added a nice smokey flavor. SO yummy! Thanks Elise!
I’d like to try this using canned black beans. How many cans should I use?
Hi Ellen, 1 pound of dry beans cooks up to close to 4 15-ounce cans of beans.
Black bean soup is different from black beans and rice. For the soup, the celery and sweet potato add incredible amounts of fiber and vitamins making this a very restorative soup.
I don’t soak the black beans. I pick them over for debris and rinse them and then just cook them in the appropriate amount of water. It takes longer, of course, but I like the color of the beans better this way.
Also, I grate the sweet potato and sometimes grate the onion.
Katy, the soaking doesn’t make any dried bean soft. Dried beans, after soaking, usually take about 30-45 minutes of cooking on a simmer. I tried cooking black beans once without soaking overnight, and *that* took hours. I hope you tried again with beans that are pre-bagged in the legume section. Once you experience beans this way, you will never want to go back to canned. Especially garbanzos–what a difference in flavor and texture. I definitely feel it’s worth the time. . . . I’m trying this recipe for the first time today. Just started the soak at 6:30 in the morning.
Made this for the first time today and can’t wait to eat it tomorrow! One question – I read the recipe several times and don’t see when I should have put the carrots in? I ended up adding them with the bell pepper because I looked at my counter and thought “uh oh, the carrots probably should have gone in with the other root veggies…” Can you please clarify for next time – since I already know there will be a next time!
Hi Meredith, the chopped carrots go in with the sweet potato. Thanks for pointing out the omission! I missed that. It’s fixed now.
I grate the carrot and the sweet potato and I sautee the red pepper with the other veg. Actually, I put the red pepper in first and let it go for a couple of minutes before adding the rest.
Also, I use good bacon instead of a ham hock…easier to find and less hassle.
Elise, this soup was really, really good. I doubled the recipe and subbed carrots for the sweet potato. I ate it for work lunch for a few days and froze the rest. I love black bean soup, but have never found a recipe that fits me. Yum! As always thanks for the great food!Carolyn
We LOVE this soup, although I made it vegan by eliminating the ham and using veggie stock instead of chicken stock. And it is actually a quick meal in the pressure cooker.
The family declared this to be the best soup ever! For anyone who is curious, this was perfect in the crock pot. Soaked beans overnight, chopped up all veg and tossed everything in crockpot/slow cooker with ham hocks in the morning before work. Left the lime for the end and briefly buzzed with the immersion blender. Topped with cilantro, sour cream, and guacamole (had no avocados but this was great!) Easy weeknight supper and a big hit. Thanks, Elise. :)
Oh yeah this one is awesome.
Only tweaked it a little. Cooked the beans in a pressure cooker for 30 minutes then finished them according to recipe. It really cuts down on the time.
I also added black garlic that I found in the grocery store http://www.blackgarlic.com . It was really good and a nice addition.
Thanks for posting this recipe.
I just made this soup with some editions. I needed to make a vegan/vegetarian version of the soup. Replaced the ham hock for 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Came out amazing =) Thanks Elise! You’re the best
Thanks Silvia! I love the sub with chipotle peppers for the ham, great idea!
Fantastic! I followed all your instructions and the result is perfect. I love this soup. In Finland, we don’t have molasses. Instead, I used honey. So delicious! Tks!