Alina's Secret Ingredient Black Bean Soup

Growing up, my Mom made this recipe frequently. It was always my favorite, so I figured I just loved black bean soup. As it turns out, I just love this black bean soup. The secret ingredient that makes it amazing? Green olives. Combined with the fresh dill, this is a real palate pleaser. Mmmm-mmmmm... I love it!

As a side story, I actually had to make this meal twice. I finished the soup and left it to simmer for 30 minutes, according to step seven in the recipe. Our stove can be a little feisty, and the soup started to burn, but I was in the other room so I didn't notice. This wasn't like an "Is there something burning?" kind of cooking accident. This was like a "Hi, we're you're neighbors and we can smell smoke wafting from your unit and it's stinking up our unit" kind of burning (yes, that really happened).

The fire alarm was beeping, the room was filled with smoke, and it smelled awful.

I came into the kitchen gagging... The punchline is that Adam, who was sitting 10 feet away the whole time playing video games was too "in the zone" to notice that our apartment was filling with pungent smoke. We got a good laugh out of this whole fiasco, but I have to admit that I'm slightly concerned for my husband...

Instead of eating charcoal black bean soup, I decided to make it again the next day. The second time around I let it sit in the crock pot overnight on high instead of letting it simmer, and that worked really well. If you let it ruminate in the crock pot long enough and use canned black beans, steps one, two, and seven could be completely replaced with a crock pot.
Oh, and if you happen to know how to get the smell of burnt soup out of an apartment, please let me know. It's still lingering.
Approximate cost: $7. Makes 6 servings. 219 calories per serving.
Prep time: 20 minutes   Total time: 3+ hours

  •  2 cups uncooked black beans (searched for stones and rinsed)
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 green peppers, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh dill (or 1 tsp dried dill weed)
  • 1/2 cup chopped green olives
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon (my Mom advises you "go easy on the juice")

1. Combine the black beans, water, and bay leaves in a soup pot.

2. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Cook about 2 hours, until the beans are soft. Don't let kitty get into it. :)

 3. In a separate frying pan, heat the olive oil. Add green peppers, onions, and garlic. Saute until lightly browned and limp. Add cumin, oregano, mustard powder, and dill. Saute for a few minutes.

4. Add the olives and cook 5 minutes.

5. Use a potato masher to mash about 1/4 of the beans into a paste in the soup pot. This gives the soup a nice thick texture.
6. Add the cooked veggies to the beans, along with the lemon juice and salt.
7. Simmer as long as possible
8. Do NOT leave it sitting on the stove until it catches on fire.
9. Taste and add more salt if it's needed.

Adam’s taste rating: 4 ladles
Brad’s taste rating: 3 ladles
Healthy rating: 4 ladles
Ease of prep rating: 4 ladles
Overall average: 3.75 ladles


Amanda said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I've been looking for a bean soup recipe and I love green olives, so this one might be the winner. John doesn't like olives though so it might take some persuading. Thanks for the recipe!

Marissa and Alina said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

You'll have to let me know if you try it! -Alina

MaryKayMomma said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Looks like the real thing and it's makin' me hungry! Kenny is kind of thinking about licking his chops, too! ;)

Amanda said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I made this soup this week and it was very good! I altered it slightly by using canned beans and I loved the addition of green olives, but John still didn't care for them. I think I will have to make this for myself next time he is traveling.

Marissa and Alina said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

@Amanda Glad you enjoyed it! It's too bad John doesn't like olives. I bet Alton Brown likes olives... :)

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