Rogue Black Bean Soup with Chorizo and Kale

I’ve loved black bean soup since I first had it as a kid. There’s something very comforting about it, the texture, the spices, the heat – to me its real comfort food. I’m giving this recipe with two options, dried or canned black beans. The soup will good no matter which way you go but I urge you to take the time and effort to to the route of the dried beans – you will get a much better product – the beans will taste better and have a much better texture – you will be rewarded for  your extra time and you probably wont want to go back to canned beans at all.

Musical Pairing: Suffocation – Pinnacle of Bedlam. Suffo and black bean soup? I know on the surface it makes no sense but bear with me. I came up with the recipe for a cooking demo at my local winter farmers market and did it there by using as many local products as I could. Locally speaking you cannot bring up metal and Long Island without Suffocation. They’re truly pioneers of the genre, listed as influences by everyone from The Dillinger Escape Plan to The Red Chord and their latest album, Pinnacle of Bedlam is unreal in its precision, creativity and sheer brutality.

1/2lb Dried chorizo
1 Small Piece of Star Anise
1 TSP Cumin Seed
2 C Dried Black Beans (or 4 cups canned beans)
2 C Diced White Onions
1 Diced Bell Pepper
4 Cloves Minced Garlic
1 1/2 TSP Very hot Hot Sauce (I recommend High River Hot Sauce’s Rogue)
1 qt Chix Stock
1 qt Water
2 Avocado Leaves*
2 Fresh Bay Leaves
1 Each of the Following
Dried Amarillo Chili
Pasilla Chili
Ancho Chili
1 TSP Salt
5 Fprigs Fresh cilantro
1 Bunch Fresh Kale


I recommend using dried beans for this, they’re a much better product and you will be rewarded for you patience and effort. Give the beans a quick rinse and check them for rocks – seriously I’ve found them, before. Then put the beans in a large bowl and add at least 4 cups of water, cover with plastic wrap and let sit overnight.

If you’re using canned beans start the recipe here.
Place a 6 or 8 qt stock pot over medium high heat and toast the cumin seeds and star anise for about two minutes while stirring. Remove the seeds and star anise, set aside. Remove the stems and seeds from the dried chilies and toast them next, same way as the seeds, then also set aside.

Reduce the heat to medium. Chop the chorizo into 1/4″ cubes and put not the pot, cook while stirring occasionally. We’re looking to render as much fat from the chorizo as possible, this should take about 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the chorizo, leaving as much oil as possible. We should have about 2 TBL, you can eyeball this, add more oil if you need to. Increase the heat to medium high, add the onions and pepper and sauté till the onions are translucent about 4 minutes stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and sauté for anther minute.

Strain the soaked beans or rinse the canned beans then add them along with the rest of the ingredients to the pot. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to medium or medium low depending on your stove. We want to simmer without boiling. Cover and let simmer for an hour and a half, stirring occasionally. After the hour and a half simmer for an additional half hour to 45 minutes or until the beans are tender, you will have to taste them to know this.

Once the beans are fully cooked, take two cups of them and purée in a blender or food processor with the cilantro and any large pieces of the dried chilies you might find floating in the soup. Purée until you have a smooth paste then return paste to the soup.

Cut your kale into ribbons and add to the soup, let it wilt in there for a few minutes.

Stir well, taste and adjust salt if needed. If you’d like it hotter you can add more hot sauce too. Serve with sour cream and sliced scallions.

*A note on the avocado leaves – they are the dried leaves from the avocado tree. They look like very large bay leaves. They’re a little tough to locate but if you can find a latin market they should have them with the dried ingredients – some Wholefoods might have them as well. If you cannot find it, you can use an additional half piece of star anise and 1/4 TSP of cumin seeds to make up for it.

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