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Black Bean Soup

  • Makes 10


  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2-1/2 cups diced yellow onions
  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 2 lbs. black beans, soaked overnight
  • 1 meaty ham bone or smoked hocks
  • 6 quarts water
  • 2 Tablespoons ground cumin seed
  • 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 5 Tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 large sweet red pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup sherry wine
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • Diced tomatoes, diced green onions, and sour cream for garnish


Heat oil in a large soup pot. Add onions and garlic and cook over low heat until onions are tender. Drain beans and add to onions. Add ham and 6 quarts water to the pot. Stir in half of cumin seed, oregano, bay leaves, salt, pepper, cayenne, and half the parsley.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook, uncovered, until beans are very tender and liquid is reduced by three-quarters, 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Transfer ham or hock to a plate and cool. Pull off remaining meat and shred with 2 forks.

Return meat to the pot. Stir in remaining parsley, sweet red pepper, remaining cumin seed, sherry, brown sugar, and lemon juice. Simmer 30 minutes, stirring often. Remove bay leaves. Garnish with tomatoes, green onions, and sour cream.

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