This authentic Guatemalan Black Bean Soup is healthy, filling and easy to make. Hearty and delicious, this soup makes a wonderful side dish or an entire meal unto itself.
Black bean soup is a staple for many Guatemalans. Traditionally it is served with a boiled egg placed right in the bowl of soup along with a dollop of sour cream. It is also usually sprinkled with a salty white cheese called queso seco.
My husband, who is originally from Guatemala, taught me how to make this delicious and nutritious soup. Believe it or not black beans are also commonly eaten for breakfast in Guatemala.
They are usually served refried at breakfast, that is cooked again in a frying pan with some oil, with or without additional onion and garlic. The soup is often served served for lunch or dinner.
Homemade corn tortillas are fantastic with this soup, although store bought ones are fine as well. It is also often served along with rice, either on the side or in the broth.
Black beans are so good for you. They are rich in fiber, potassium, folate and vitamin B6. The phytonutrients and the lack of cholesterol supports heart health and decrease the risk of heart disease. Meanwhile, the high fiber in black beans helps lower the total amount of cholesterol in the blood.
Leftovers can also be eaten in other dishes like in tacos, burritos, or in various different salads. You can also “refry” them by sautéing some chopped onion and garlic in olive oil and then adding some beans then cooking them until they are thick as you want. Another idea is to blend the leftover beans in a blender until they are very smooth and then reheat them in a skillet.
Unfortunately, queso seco is not something that you usually find in the US. However you might be able to find some Cotija Mexican cheese, which is a very delicious way to top off your soup. Another alternative I have found, which is fairly easy to come by in most grocery stores, is feta cheese. While not exactly the same flavor as quest seco, feta is delicious and crumbly, a perfect accompaniment for black bean soup.
An egg slicer is a fun and easy way to slice your eggs. While not an essential kitchen tool, it is a great gadget to have around. As a bonus, some of the higher end models can also slice other things like mushrooms and strawberries. Hint: they are also great for slicing eggs for potato and pasta salads!
One thing that I love about this soup is that it is so simple. You actually only need five easy ingredients to get started. This is definitely rustic cooking at its best!
You will need:
- Black Beans
Make sure to use fresh garlic because it is just not the same if you use powdered or dry garlic. I also recommend using sweet onion for a better milder flavor but any type of white or yellow onion will work.
Start with dry black beans. You can usually find whole beans in the dry goods section of the supermarket near the rice and pasta. You can also usually find them at latino or smaller speciality grocery stores.
To make black bean soup you simply sort through the beans and pick out any dirt or rocks. Beans are mechanically processed and too occasionally a few rocks will get into the mix that is why it is important to check them. The process has greatly improved over the years and I hardly ever find a rock or debris anymore but it is a good idea to check them just in case.
Rinse the beans thoroughly then soak in fresh water for 4 hours or overnight. The soaking process will help them cook a little faster and digest easier.
If you don't have time to allow the beans to soak, no worries. It will still turn out fine. It may take a little more time to cook, probably closer to an hour. I prefer to soak my beans and feel that it also makes the beans easier to digest but I have also made them countless times without soaking.
Next, drain and rinse your beans then place them in a pot with the cooking water. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic.
Place a lid on your pot and then bring it to a boil, leaving a crack so your pot will not boil over. Reduce to a medium simmer, or a low boil and cook for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the beans are still too firm cook for another 10 minutes or until beans are very soft.
Lastly, add the salt. Serve with boiled eggs, sour cream and crumbly white cheese.
- 1 lb Black Beans
- 5 ½ cups Water
- ¾ cup Chopped onion
- 3 cloves Garlic
- 1 ½ tsp. Salt
- Sort through the beans and pick out any dirt or rocks. Rinse the beans thoroughly then soak in fresh water for 4 hours or overnight.
- Drain and rinse beans then place in a pot with the 5 ½ cups cooking water. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic.
- Place lid on the pot and bring to a boil, leaving a crack so your pot will not boil over. Reduce to a medium simmer or low boil and cook for about 45 minutes stirring occasionally. If the beans are still too firm cook for another 10 minutes or until beans are very soft.
- Add salt. Serve with boiled eggs, sour cream and crumbly white cheese.
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