January 15, 2012

Black Bean Soup with Roasted Plantain Salsa

I am craving sustenance from the ground. Colorful roots, leafs, legumes and other natural masterpieces that have spent months growing in the soil so we can tug them out, wash them off and cook them to perfection. Vegetables have been my food of choice since the holidays ended. Weeks were laden with delicious nibbles of sweets, fatty meats, creamy drinks, rich cheeses and wine. Lots of wine. Lots of boozy nights filled with frilly appetizers and loud music. There is a time and place for gourmandizing, and there is a time and place for cleansing grub like the recipes below.

Since time has been a scarce commodity I relished spending a few hours in the kitchen today. I found peace while rinsing, dicing, boiling, tasting and fine tuning. The black bean soup is soft and savory while the roasted plantain salsa provides the perfect balance of tart and sweet. This recipe can feed a family of four for at least 3 meals (with seconds). 

The soup will taste even better tomorrow, and the next day… and the next day…

Black Bean Soup
Prep time: 120 minutes
Servings: 16
Nutrition information per serving: 162 cals, 2 fat, 15 protein

3 pounds dry black beans (cooked, rinsed, drained)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large bell pepper, diced
5 celery stalks, diced
1 large sweet onion, diced
6 carrots, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 15 oz cans diced tomatoes (no salt added)
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon thyme
2 tablespoon paprika
8 cups low sodium vegetable broth
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon salt (to taste)

In a large stock pot, cook 3 lbs. (or 6 cups) of dried black beans in 6 quarts of salted boiling water until soft, about 60 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Heat oil in a large heavy pot on medium heat. Stir in bell pepper, celery, onion, carrots; cook until the vegetables are translucent, about 10 minutes. Stir in dry spices, salt and garlic; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add diced tomatoes, bay leaf, and vegetable broth. Stir in the beans, turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Adjust the heat so the soup is simmering, cover and cook 45 minutes; stirring occasionally and removing impurities that float to the top.

Using a blender, puree half the soup and stir back in to the pot to create a creamy consistency. Add the cilantro and cook the soup uncovered until thickened, about 10 minutes.

Serve topped with avocado and roasted plantain salsa (recipe below)

Roasted Plantain Salsa
Prep time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8
Nutrition information per serving: 118 cals, 1 fat, .5 protein

3 ripe sweet plantains
1 tb olive oil
1tsp salt
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp chili powder
½ tsp cumin
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered and seeded
2 tb fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tb sweet onion, finely diced

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Peel and dice plantains in to small chunks. Toss in olive oil, salt, garlic powder, chili powder and cumin. Spread evenly on to a greased baking sheet and cook for 20 – 25 minutes until caramelized. Allow to cool then toss with diced tomatoes, cilantro and onion. Salt and pepper to taste.  


  1. This looks absolutely delicious! I love black bean soup - but using plantain salsa is absolutely, positively 100% AMAZING! Bravo!

    1. Thank you! I saw plantains at the market for super cheap and thought it would be a great topper. It turns out they are just as good roasted than they are fried!

  2. I thought I came over here for your soup delicious looking soup. I really got an extra surprise with the plantain salsa!! I love it! It looks wonderful and you didn't deep fry the plantains. I need to try it right away!! Well done. :) Both recipes are winners!! Well done. Have a great week!! ~ Ramona

  3. Celery and lots of cloves is the best to cook in a Soup.. your soup is wonderfull and the roasted plaintain salsa looks yummz too :)


  4. Seldom have I made soup with black beans and plaintain but sure it will be a good try. Plaintain is most of the time thinly sliced and deep fry to be eaten with rice. I have to agree with you that this soup will be lovely after all the eating and booze during the festive session. Over here, we are heading to another one, the Chinese New Year and there's comes another round of eating and drinking.

    1. I am trying hard to resist celebrating the Chinese New Year with more food! Fried plantains would be super good on this as well, but I was trying to shave a few calories. Turns out roasting them is super yummy!

  5. Glad to see you are back, since you have a talent for bringing tasty things to the table! Looks like you made this just for me because black beans as well as plantains are items I love to eat as well as cook with.
    Each of these recipes look tasty enough to consume by themselves or together. Well done!

  6. I love the roasted plantains with the avocado, what a great soup!!!

  7. Simply delicious! I have always loved black bean soup. The addition of roasted plantain salsa will surely make me love it more!

  8. Your soup looks AH-MAY-ZING. The roasted plantain salsa is an inspired touch.

  9. First time here and loved it.
    Great recipe

  10. Mmmmmm....your soup looks fabulous!!! And what a delicious salsa garnish!

  11. Love the look of your soup with the plantain... it must have added a great flavor to it. Thank you for sharing.

  12. This looks amazing. I would love to have a bowl of your soup.

  13. The black bean soup sounds amazing! Especially loving the topping of the roasted plantain salsa!

  14. mmmm...looks really good...like the add of the plantain :)

  15. I love a good bean soup, and this one sounds so packed with flavor! That salsa sounds delicious as well, I have never seen plantains used like that but can see how it would be tasty! Hope you are having a wonderful weekend :)!

  16. I am so happy to see a plantain recipe and a salso no less. This is too cool. I am definitely going to roast the plantiains like that. Wonderful. Great post.

  17. If this tastes half as good as it looks, I'm sure it's delicious!


Thanks so much for leaving a comment!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...