Smokey Black Bean & the Bandit Soup

“A hearty, warming soup that's definitely a full meal by itself. This was posted on, a blog that usually doesn't feature recipes... but I guess this one was so good, it had to be shared. I thought it was tasty before I added the extra black beans at the end, but I loved the texture the pureed beans gave to the soup. It's good either way, it seems. I topped my soup with homemade guacamole and pico de gallo, but other toppings like sour cream, queso fresco or toasted pumpkin seeds would be nice too.”
4hrs 30mins
1 big pot of soup

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Heat bacon in a skillet over medium-high heat; cook until fat is rendered and bacon is crisp, about 10 minutes. Transfer bacon to a bowl lined with paper towels. Reserve the bacon fat for the next step!
  2. Sauté the onions, red and green peppers and jalapeno in bacon fat until tender, about 3 minutes. Add garlic; cook 2-3 minutes more on medium heat.
  3. In a large pot, bring the chicken stock to a boil. Add the drained black beans, the cooked onion/pepper mixture and the cooked, crumbled bacon. Stir, then add the ham hock, ham steak, chipotle pepper, oregano, cumin, coriander, bay leaves, molasses and salt & pepper.
  4. Reduce heat to low and simmer over for low heat for 2-3 hours, uncovered. Stir occasionally and test the seasonings after the first 90 minutes.
  5. If desired, puree the two cans of rinsed black beans in a food processor. Fold this into the soup one scoop at a time to adjust thickness. Add as little or as much as you prefer. Simmer until hot for 30 minutes more.

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