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Smoky Black Bean Soup

For a hearty soup with woody background notes, serve up my Smoky Black Bean Soup. The ham hocks are a flavorful chunky addition. Bring on the toppings!
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Keyword Smoky Black Bean Soup
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 250kcal
Author Kathleen


  • 1 Pound Bag Dried Black Beans
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Large Yellow Onion Chopped
  • 1 Large Red Bell Pepper Chopped
  • 2 Celery Stalks Chopped
  • 1 Jalapeno Finely Chopped
  • 4-6 Garlic Cloves Minced
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Dried Ground Cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon Dried Oregano
  • 4 Cups Water
  • 2 Cups Stong Brewed Coffee
  • 1 Meaty Large Ham Hock
  • 3 Bay Leaves
  • 2 1/2 Teaspoons Salt or More as Needed
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 Cup For Garnish Cilantro Chopped
  • 6 Tablespoons Greek Yogurt


  • Pick over beans; rinse well. Place in a large bowl with cold water to cover by 2 inches. Let soak for at least 6 hours or overnight. (Or use the quick-soak method: Cover the beans with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil; simmer 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 1 hour.) Drain.
  • Heat oil in a soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, celery, jalapeño and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are beginning to brown, 5 to 8 minutes. Add cumin and oregano and cook, stirring, 1 minute more. Add the beans, water, coffee, ham hock and bay leaf; cover and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Skim off any foam that rises to the top, reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the beans are very tender, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours.  Remove the ham hock and set it aside to cool; remove the bay leaf. Stir in salt.
  • Puree about half of the soup in a blender or food processor until fairly smooth. (Use caution when pureeing hot liquids.) Return the pureed soup to the pot and heat through. Cut meat off the ham hock, trim away any fat and chop the meat into small pieces; stir back into the soup.
  • Serve the soup garnished with the reserved chopped onion, a dollop of sour cream (or yogurt) and cilantro if desired.


Calories: 250kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 765mg | Potassium: 570mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 920IU | Vitamin C: 31.2mg | Calcium: 89mg | Iron: 3.5mg