Mama Donna’s Black Bean Soup

black beanIf I have company coming for dinner and I don’t know what to make, I make this soup because guests can gussy it up as much or as little as they like, it can accommodate just about any dietary preferance (vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, omnivorous), and it’s always a crowd-pleaser. It’s also cheap, filling, tasty as hell and not terrible for you. Oh, and you can double the recipe and pressure can it to have on hand for later surprise company or a quick lunch/dinner for one (that you can microwave in the jar!).

Disclaimer: I got this recipe from my mom (hence the name) and I have no idea where she got it, so if you or the publication you represent came up with it, nice work! (and please don’t sue me; I’m poor as hell).

Makes: 6 Cups


1 cup medium onion, diced

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 cups vegetable broth

3 (15-oz.) cans Black Beans, rinsed and drained

1 (14.5-oz.) can diced tomatoes with zesty mild green chiles, undrained

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 1/2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar


  1. Sauté onion and garlic in hot oil in a Dutch oven or large heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat 4 to 6 minutes or until tender.
  2. Stir in broth and next 4 ingredients; cover and bring to a boil. Uncover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about an hour and a half. If it cooks down too much, just add a little water to thin out. Remove from heat; Let cool 5 minutes.
  3. Process soup, in batches, in a blender until smooth. Return to pot, and stir until blended, (or use an immersion blender right in the pot like a kitchen wizard).
  4. Stir in the red wine vinegar (this takes the soup from meh to magical, so do NOT skip).

Serve immediately with sauceless pulled pork, shredded cheese, sour cream, green onions, green chillies, or whatever your little heart desires. I always serve mine with Paula Deen’s vidalia onion cornbread–which freezes beautifully if you want to keep some in a ziploc for later. I make mine as soup-sized mini-muffins because they’re so cute.

or Pressure Can the soup in pint-sized jars at 10lbs pressure for 90 minutes. Don’t pressure can? You should. 


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