Food styling: Black bean soup – casual to super-chic

September 20, 2012

Served in elegant sherry glasses, this black bean soup with pan-roasted poblano peppers and crispy shoestring tortillas makes a gorgeous and stylish hors d’oeuvre (soup shots, anyone…?!), not to mention a healthy one.

Ladle the warmed soup in a measuring cup and pour in small sherry glasses. Garnish with a cilantro leaf and a dollop of crème fraîche or sour cream. You’ll want to thin the soup with a little water when serving it this way so that it’s a bit more liquid and easier for your guests to sip.

For a bit of fun, try dunking a strip of crispy tortilla in each glass. Slice the tortilla in 1/4″ strips and sauté as you would the shoestrings in the following photos. (For instructions, and a video on how to make crispy tortillas, click this on link.)

And why not serve the soup deconstructed? The black bean soup, the crispy shoestring tortillas, along with some diced avocados topped with chopped cilantro – all served in individual bowls. Your guests will enjoy dipping the garnish in the soup as they eat. Fun and festive!

Serving thin slices of avocado next to the soup makes it a complete meal for lunch. Drizzle the avocado slices with a little lime vinaigrette to bring out their flavor. For the vinaigrette, whisk 1 tablespoon lime juice with 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and a good pinch of sea salt. Sprinkle with finely grated white pepper.

Last but not least, I love serving the soup in these deep bowls. It’s the simplest presentation, but also the most versatile – casual or chic! Place the garnishes side by side in the center of the soup rather than on top of each other.

Recipe: Black bean soup with pan-roasted poblano peppers and crispy shoestring tortillas

Wine pairing: Elio Grasso, Dolcetto d’Alba dei Grassi 2009

This radish-top soup and slow-roasted radish roots with fennel is another recipe that could go from casual to super-chic… and it’s absolutely scrumptious!

© 2011 Viviane Bauquet Farre Food & Style NY LLC

Disclaimer: As always, my point of view is my own. I do not accept samples, and have no commercial relationship with any product, food or wine company.

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Marc January 28, 2011 at 12:01 am

One word: WOW!!!!


Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen January 28, 2011 at 5:32 am

What an elegant way to serve soup for a cocktail party! This way the soup is portable and well presented.


Viviane January 28, 2011 at 10:08 am

Thank you Sylvie!


Rajesh January 28, 2011 at 11:26 am

The soup served in sherry glasses is my absolute favorite!


Cristina January 29, 2011 at 2:40 am

Viviane: These sherry shotglasses filled with the black bean soup and perfect garnishes are so elegant! What an eye-catching presentation.


Debi (Table Talk) January 31, 2011 at 8:29 am

Serving the soup shooter- style in sherry glasses sure sets the tone for a festive evening!–Gorgeous photos.


Flora February 3, 2011 at 4:08 pm

Thanks for your Black bean soup, I really like it. I recently found another soup recipe that is similar to yours, its call the Red Bean Soup, if anyone would like to try it, the recipe could be found on


veggietestkitchen February 3, 2011 at 6:40 pm

mm, yum. i love black bean soup. if we put it in a glass flute like this will it get cold fast? thanks for sharing.


Wenderly February 3, 2011 at 6:43 pm

Looks divine!


Ambika February 3, 2011 at 7:07 pm

The humble black bean soup looks so elegant!! Love your presentations!!!


Liz February 3, 2011 at 7:48 pm

Great serving ideas….both so pretty!


FoodFitnessFreshair February 3, 2011 at 7:54 pm

Gorgeous! I particularly like the soup in the cocktail glasses, but these are all beautiful. My bet’s that it tastes great too.


Belinda @zomppa February 3, 2011 at 9:10 pm

Those are the best black bean soups I’ve ever seen.


Kulsum at JourneyKitchen February 4, 2011 at 3:43 am

What a great way to serve up the soup. Great!!


mimi February 5, 2011 at 11:49 am

Absolutely stunning! What a great idea for serving soup. Beautiful pictures as well!


Lori Lynn February 5, 2011 at 4:48 pm

Hi Viviane – fabulous! Who would think to make black bean soup fancy? You have such a talent for turning the everyday into elegant!
Congrats on Top 9!


Gwen February 5, 2011 at 8:34 pm

my fav soup has never looked so good!


Kat @ Big Apple Little Kitchen April 7, 2011 at 7:29 pm

What a lovely idea! I might need to have a fancy party to try this out!


Angie@Angiesrecipes May 28, 2011 at 3:05 am

Beautiful and stylish!


Milan June 13, 2011 at 1:56 am

Bonjour Madam,

You are extremely talented and I love the simplicity of your work. I am a huge fan of black bean soup and I can eat it all season. Excellent job!

Merci Beaucoup,


mjskit December 14, 2011 at 11:38 pm

ALL of these photos are gorgeous! Now I need to go check out the soup recipe because you make it look utterly delicious!


Donna Ford December 16, 2011 at 11:25 am

Viviane, Beautiful presentation! It looks delicious. Marc says wow! I say wow, wow! :)


Kiran @ September 24, 2012 at 12:54 am

I’ve never said this before, but you are probably one of few people i know who successfully styled brown soup. So beautiful!


Viviane September 24, 2012 at 10:05 am

You make me smile Kiran! I guess even brown soup inspires me… :)


Julia @ Live Pretty September 24, 2012 at 1:34 pm

Such beautiful styling – thanks for the inspiration!


Viviane September 25, 2012 at 12:31 pm

Thank you Julia!


cakewhiz September 28, 2012 at 10:09 pm

oh my! i LOVE your presentation of this soup.
i have no doubt that it tastes delicious but the way you poured it in those cocktail glasses has taken this to a whole new level! :D


Daniela October 10, 2012 at 2:44 am

What a cool and elegant way to present the black bean soup.


Viviane October 14, 2012 at 1:35 pm

Thank you so much Daniela!


JC Marc November 1, 2012 at 10:21 pm

As a newcomer to your site, I have found your recipes are simple and very easy to follow. You have shown that flavors need not be complicated – complex, yes – complicated, no. Your styling is also simple, yet elegant. I love your creations. Thank you for sharing.


Viviane November 2, 2012 at 12:05 pm

JC Marc! Thank you so, so much for your kind words – they went straight to my heart! I try very hard to make gourmet-yet-simple recipes that people with busy lives will want to cook. It is gratifying to know that readers like yourself get it.

On a side note, I took the liberty of editing your comment and changed the word “Simplistic” to “Simple”. I think that was your meaning. The word “simplistic” means “to oversimplify”.

Thank you again! Enjoy the site and…. Bon Appétit!


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