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Black Bean Soup with Sherry

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Serves 4

  • by Shelley Wiseman from Fine Cooking
    Issue 107

Dry sherry gives this soup an extra boost of flavor that belies how quick and easy it is. A garnish of queso fresco and chopped tomatoes adds color.

  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 cups lower-salt chicken broth
  • Two 15-1/2-oz. cans black beans, including liquid
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry, preferably fino
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a 4- to 5-quart heavy-duty pot over medium heat. Add the onion, green pepper, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, purée the chicken broth with one can of black beans and bean liquid in a blender.

Add the cumin and oregano to the pot and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Stir in the black bean purée and the remaining whole beans with their liquid; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, partially cover the pot, and simmer, stirring frequently, until the flavors are melded, about 10 minutes. Stir in the sherry and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serving Suggestions

Serve with Roasted Poblano and Onion Quesadillas.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 310; Fat (g): 11; Fat Calories (kcal): 100; Saturated Fat (g): 1.5; Protein (g): 13; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 8; Carbohydrates (g): 40; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1.5; Sodium (mg): 440; Cholesterol (mg): 0; Fiber (g): 10;

Photo: Scott Phillips

Quick and easy yet has wonderful flavor. Be sure to add the sherry, otherwise it would be just so-so. Like other reviewers suggest, I think some ground chipotle would give this an added boost.

This is an absolutely delicious soup. I too used a stick blender at the end of recipe. Also, I didn't have green pepper and used red instead. Nor did I have any sherry so I used a little port. Wonderful. It gets better the next day

It's so nice to find quick and easy recipes that have such wonderful flavor. I found the recipe then checked the pantry-only one can of back beans BUT there was a can of organic refried back beans. A great substitute for canned black beans. Did have to add an additional cup of chicken broth. I will be sharing this recipe with friends and family.

I made a couple of small changes--a red pepper instead of green, and a little more cumin. It was a little thick, so needed more broth than the recipe called for. I will definitely make this again. I agree with the comment about the stick blender. It's a very useful and convenient item to have in the kitchen if you frequently make soup.

We have a lot of favorite soups, so it is unusual for me to find a recipe that gets instantly added to our Top Ten! We love this soup; I always make a triple batch so that I have enough to share with friends and have leftovers for lunch. It is quick, easy, and budget-friendly. Love it! : )

This recipe came in today as I was wondering what I was going to make for supper, so I made it -- with one substitution. Since I didn't have any sherry on hand, I added a spoonful or two of rum at the end. The soup really is pretty bland before any booze is added. Also, instead of messing with the food processor, I simply used a stick blender to puree half the beans after adding them to the pot. And, like another reviewer, I added a pinch or so of ground chipotle pepper. Together with cheese and corn quesadillas from epicurious.com, it made a nice supper on one of those nights when the fridge was kind of empty. Not great, but I'd probably make it again in another "emergency." Oh, yes, and I did serve it with a lime-juice- and cumin-flavored sour cream garnish.

super good, it was a big hit. i added sweet potatoes for fun and extra nutrition.

The recipe was quick and easy. I added 1/2t of chipotle powder to give a little heat and smokey flavor. I garnished top with cilantro and sour cream mixed with a little lime juice. Do be careful about how much your blender holds like the previous reviewer mentioned.

This is very, very good. Read my full review at: http://themomchef.blogspot.com/2010/11/black-bean-soup-with-sherry-from-fine.html

Delicious! Helathly and fast when time is a factor. I added some cooked rice to the finished soup to give it more body.

As a self-professed soup snob I was pleasantly surprised with the depth of flavor from a quick cook recipe. I substituted crushed toasted cumin seed and Mexican oregano (Penzey's) in place of the cumin and oregano. A word of warning, be certain your blender can hold all the liquid, I used a can of beans and only one cup of the chicken broth, any more would have resulted in an overflow. Made this to accompany the turkey and corn quesadillas from the same issue.

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