(KCBS) – KCBS Food and Wine Editor Narsai David says this is a delicious black bean soup perfect for cool days.

Yield: 6-8 Servings

1 lb. black beans, washed
5-6 cups water
2 large onions, chopped
5-6 cloves garlic, chopped
2-3 bay leaves
1 TBS oregano
1/4 tsp or more chili pepper flakes
1 red or green bell pepper, chopped
3 TBS wine vinegar
1 tsp sugar
lowfat sour cream

First de-gas the beans*. Then add water, onions, garlic, bay leaves, oregano and chili pepper flakes and simmer until beans are tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Add remaining ingredients (except sour cream) and simmer 15-20 minutes. Serve with a dollop of sour cream.

To de-gas beans: Select a large enough pot to hold at least three to four times the volume of beans. Bring the water to a rolling boil while you are picking over the beans to remove pebbles and any that are spoiled. Wash the beans and add to kettle. Boil for only two minutes. Remove from the heat, cover and let it rest for one hour. Drain and discard the water.

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Comments (7)
  1. Marsha says:

    Sorry – I tried this and it really didn’t work out at all. Followed directions exactly and it took two hours longer than the recipe called for, and even then the beans were tough. Also, way below par in terms of flavor – mostly vinegar with a weird sweetness. I finally added a little bacon and cut my losses. Not a keeper, for me at least. I just bought the beans yesterday, from Safeway, so I don’t think it’s because they were too old, though they might have been.

  2. jake says:

    I’m not surprised. I believe the text of recipe text is incomplete after the de-gas technique…what’s missing is that you are better off soaking the beans for 4-6 hours after you’ve drained them the 1st time.

  3. Scott says:

    Jake’s right – or prep the beans the night before and soak them overnight. I saw one reference that suggested adding a teaspoon of baking soda to the water, apprently the alkalinity helps with the degassing. Hmm, that sounds like a topic for America’s Food Kitchen!