Quick Black Bean Soup with Spicy Cilantro Paste

November 26, 2013

Every week, Caroline Wright creates simple, civilized recipes for Food52 that feed four -- for under $20, in under 20 minutes.

Today: Black beans are making a comeback.

Quick Black Bean Soup from Food52 

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I haven’t cooked with black beans for a while, a realization I had as I plucked the cans from my pantry shelf. This recipe was of the intent of bringing the beans back to my table, and this soup was the perfect flavorful candidate to sing their merits. I wanted it to be as simple as possible -- so, the ingredients are tossed in the pan and simmered from the start. To brighten the flavor, I made a quick herb paste in the blender to serve on top of the soup.

Quick Black Bean Soup with Spicy Cilantro Paste

1/4 cup olive oil?
1 small onion, finely chopped?
1 poblano, finely chopped?
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin, divided
?3 (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper?
1 bunch cilantro
?1 jalapeno, optional
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
?Cooked rice, for serving, optional 

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.


As a freelance food writer and cook, I first wrote this style of recipe as a column on my blog, The Wright Recipes, as an excuse to cook good food for my friends in a quick and simple way. 

Twenty-Dollar, Twenty-Minute™ Meals grew into a cookbook that was published by Workman in May 2013. The recipes found here are original, made especially for Food52 to once again celebrate simple food with friends.

Photo by Caroline Wright

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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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Before her diagnosis, Caroline wrote a book on cakes called Cake Magic!. She started developing a birthday cake using her gluten-free mix found in that book. Check out other recipes she’s developing for her new life—and the stories behind them—on her blog, The Wright Recipes. Her next book, Soup Club, is a collection of recipes she made for her underground soup club of vegan and grain-free soups she delivers every week to friends throughout Seattle's rainy winter.


BavarianCook March 23, 2014
Fast and tasty! I substituted one can of beans for one can of Trader Joe's spicy fat-free refried beans, and then omitted the jalapeño. Thanks for this recipe!
Hope :. November 26, 2013
This looks fantastic! I can't wait to give it a try -- will be a nice way to have a healthy, sensible-calorie meal after Thanksgiving. ;) Thanks!
The P. November 26, 2013
Looks like a winner.
beth Y. November 26, 2013
Sounds delicious! I'm such a fan of anything with black beans. Can't wait to give this a go!