The Coach House's Black Bean Soup

“The Coach House Restaurant on Waverly Place in New York City was legendary. It was owned by a Greek, the beloved Leon Lianides, and dedicated to serving classic American food in an era when fine dining spoke French. After suffering ups and downs in its later years, it closed for good in 1993, and Mr. Lianides died in 1998. But there are plenty of New Yorkers who still grow misty-eyed at the thought of the Coach House corn sticks, the black bean soup with Madeira and -- sweetest memory of all -- the mocha dacquoise. I had acquired the black bean soup recipe back in the early 80's, and decided to post it here for posterity, and for those who might remember it fondly. Beware, though, that there is nothing quick about making this soup.”

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Wash beans in a colander. Put in a bowl. Cover with cold water and let soak overnight, refrigerated.
  2. Drain and wash again.
  3. In a large casserole, combine drained beans with the 3 quarts of water. Cover and simmer for 90 minutes.
  4. In a heavy kettle, saute bacon a few minutes, then add celery and onion and cook until tender. Do not brown.
  5. Add beef bones, ham shank, remaining herbs and vegetables and pepper. Add beans and their cooking liquid. Cover and simmer for 3-4 hours, until beans are very tender. Add more water if necessary.
  6. Remove bones and ham. Puree soup in a food mill. Return to pot, add Madeira and chopped eggs. Mix well and serve.

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