Spicy Black Bean Soup

Spicy Black Bean Soup by she cooks, she gardens

I’ve been on a bit of a Mexican kick lately, I can’t get enough of it and this Spicy Black Bean Soup is testament to that. The reason for this kick, I suspect, is because of the opening of a new authentic Mexican restaurant only a few minutes from home. Maiz & Mezcal is the new home of ‘proper good’ Mexican food in Adelaide and I am totally addicted. The restaurant, managed by Ian and Sonia Pichardo, opened back in April to immense expectation. We knew it was coming and it did not disappoint. The family came to Australia with nothing but a dream and have created a wonderful family restaurant with kickass food and even better margarita’s, knowing this as you sit down and sample the menu just makes the food taste that much better. You should seriously check it out, there are options for pretty much every dietary need, including gluten-free, but make sure you book in advance or you will be disappointed.

Inspired by my new found love of all things Mexican, I’ve been experimenting with some flavours and ingredients that I haven’t had a lot of experience with in the past. Chipotle peppers, adobo sauce and black beans form the basis of my addiction at the moment, the heady aroma’s and spicy flavours are the perfect cure to the cold and dreary weather we’ve been experiencing here for the last month or so. The black beans you can buy at the supermarket, they might be labelled ‘black turtle beans’ and I have seen them canned but they are pricey and easy enough to cook at home from scratch for a fraction of the cost. The chile’s though, were a bit of a mission to find. Unlike our compadres in the US, the miracle of Mexican food hasn’t really found its way to Australia yet. Sadly for many of us, when we think of Mexican food it’s tacos and mince meat from a big yellow box, but since eating proper taquito’s from M&M I can’t go back, not for a second. So, on a mission, I managed to track some down at good old Gaganis Brothers in Hindmarsh and once I started looking I found a few different options. If you can’t get to Gaganis then you could also try Chile Mojo on Magill Road or online from places like Monterey or Fireworks foods. NB: As they are imported from the US, the chile’s tend to contain corn syrup, if anyone can point me to some corn syrup free versions I will be eternally in your debt.

While the smoky chipotle and black beans certainly make up the unmistakable flavour of this dish, you might be surprised to see the addition of chocolate and orange juice right at the end. I came across this combination from a recipe I found over on the whole foods website, seriously don’t skip it, no matter how uncomfortable it makes you – it’s like baking a cake and leaving off the icing. So I hope you give this one a shot, it’s a wonderfully warming and nutritious soup that freezes well and reheats magnificently. It’s definitely not authentic but I don’t think it matters, what’s important is that it tastes good and that it most certainly does.

Spicy Black Bean Soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This spicy black bean soup is not even close to authentic, but it is delicious!
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Tex-Mex
Serves: 4-6
  • 1 tbspn olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 red capsicum, seeds and ribs remove - finely chopped
  • 1 chipotle chile, finely chopped* (see note)
  • 1 tbspn adobo sauce* (seen note)
  • 1 tbspn cumin seeds, toasted until fragrant
  • 1 tspn dried oregano
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 1.5 cups pre-cooked black beans
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • ⅓ cup brown rice
  • 1 tbspn dark chocolate (bittersweet)
  • juice of ½ an orange
  • 1 tspn salt
  • 1 cup cilantro, lightly chopped
  • sour cream to serve
  • *note: You can substitute chile's and adobo sauce with smoky paprika (about ½ - 1 tspn) and cayenne pepper (1/2 tspn, or more if you prefer it super spicy)
  1. In a large, heavy based pan, heat the oil over a medium-high heat.
  2. Add the onion and garlic and cook gently until it starts to colour.
  3. Add the capsicum and cook for another couple of minutes, until soft.
  4. Add the chile, adobo sauce, cumin and oregano and cook for another couple of minutes.
  5. Add the tomatoes, stir well and bring to a gentle boil.
  6. Add the black beans and vegie stock and turn heat up to high.
  7. Bring to a rolling boil and then add the rice.
  8. Cook on a gentle boil for approximately 30 minutes, until the rice is tender.
  9. Add the chocolate, orange juice and salt and stir well until the chocolate has melted.
  10. Remove from the heat and allow to sit for a couple of minutes.
  11. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and garnished with cilantro.
based on recipes found here and here
NB: I didn’t receive anything for writing this post, I think Maiz and Mezcal is a fabulous restaurant and I’m happy to rave about it without prodding and for nothing other than that warm fuzzy feeling I get from sharing the love. Enjoy. 🙂


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