Black Bean Soup
Recipe created by Aine McAteer
This is a recipe from my book that was launched recently in Croatia featuring kid-friendly recipes. It has been given the seal of approval by my young friends, but of course if serving to children you can omit the red pepper flakes in the soup and the hot sauce or jalapeño in the salsa.
  • 2 cups black beans
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large or 2 smaller onions , small diced
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic , minced
  • 2 stalks celery , small diced
  • 1 tsp. dried cumin
  • 1 tsp. coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • Sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp. Tamari , or to taste
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Corn chips
  • 4 Roma tomatoes , small diced
  • 1 avocado , small diced
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels (from 1/2 cob), blanched
  • Juice of 1/2 or 1 lime , depending on how juicy
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro , minced
  • Sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 jalapeño , minced or 1 tsp. hot sauce
  • 1 cup silken tofu
  • Olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. rice vinegar
To make the soup: Sort through beans for stones or grit and rinse well. Leave to soak for several hours or overnight. Drain and add 6 cups water and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 1 hour.

Heat oil and add onion and garlic with a large pinch sea salt and simmer for 1 minute. Add celery, cumin, coriander, thyme and continue to sauté for several minutes. Add veggies to beans and season to taste with tamari. Continue to cook for about 30 minutes.

You can mash the soup if you want to leave it a little chunky, or blend half of it in a blender and return to pot. Alternatively, you can blend it all if you like a smooth consistency.

Serve with a big spoonful of Chunky Funky Salsa and some corn chips on the side. Instead of topping with salsa, you could top with a dollop of tofu sour cream and a sprinkling of fresh cilantro. 

To make Chunky Funky Salsa: Combine ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Best if made at least an hour in advance, as the flavors mature as it sits. If serving to younger children, you can omit the hot sauce and just serve it on the side so that the adults can add it if desired.

Note: To blanch the corn kernels, bring about 1-inch water to a rolling boil, add a pinch of sea salt and simmer the kernels for about 1 minute. Remove with a slotted spoon or by straining through a colander or sieve.

To make tofu sour cream: Puree silken tofu with a big drizzle of olive oil, lemon juice and rice vinegar.


  • For a quicker version, you can use canned black beans. To serve 4 to 6 people use two 15-ounce cans and add 3 cups liquid—about half of this will be the juice from the cans of beans; the rest can be water, vegetable or chicken stock.
  • For younger children, you can omit the pepper flakes. Fresh or dried herbs such as oregano, basil or thyme can be used in place of the spices. If using fresh basil, add at the end instead of the cilantro.
  • You can add other veggies—such as diced carrots, sweet potatoes and zucchini—in place or along with the celery.


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