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

Black bean soup with pan-roasted poblano peppers and crispy shoestring tortillas
Who doesn’t crave a bowl of black bean soup on a cold night? Warm, comforting, nutritious, flavorful – it’s impossible not to have seconds. This black bean soup is all of that and more: the pan-roasted poblano peppers and the chipotle bring a warm spiciness, while the crispy shoestring tortillas add an irresistible crunchy bite.

One last touch: a dash of Tequila and lime juice, added to the soup just before serving, make all those flavors a little brighter.

All in all it’s a pretty delicious soup!

Food & wine pairing: Abruzzo, Montepulciano with black bean soup

Red wine icon
With this soup, you want to serve a red wine with medium tannins and a bit of spice, like a Montepulciano from Abruzzo in central Italy or a Primitivo from Puglia.

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

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

serves 4 to 6
active time: 40 min

For the soup

  1. 3 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 3 medium poblano peppers (12 oz) (340 g) – seeded and diced in 1/4″ cubes (2 cups)
  3. 1 medium Spanish or Vidalia onion – peeled and diced in 1/4″ cubes (2 cups)
  4. 4 garlic cloves – skinned and minced
  5. 1 tablespoon chili powder
  6. 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle to taste
  7. 2 medium carrots (4 oz) (115 g) – seeded and diced in 1/4″ cubes (3/4 cup)
  8. 5 cups cooked black beans – drained
  9. 6 cups reserved cooking liquid from the beans or water
  10. 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt to taste
  11. 1 tablespoon lime juice
  12. 1 tablespoon tequila

For the garnishes

  1. 4 corn tortillas
  2. 3 tablespoons sunflower or canola oil
  3. large pinch sea salt
  4. 2 tablespoons crème fraîche or low-fat sour cream
  5. 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

  1. Step 1: Heat a large heavy-bottomed soup pot at medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and poblano peppers. Sauté for 2 minutes until the peppers soften. Add the onions and sauté for 7 to 8 minutes, until golden-brown. Add the garlic, chili powder, chipotle and carrots. Sauté for 1 minute. Add the black beans, reserved cooking liquid and salt.
  2. Step 2: Bring the soup to a boil. Reduce heat to medium to medium-low, cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, until carrots are tender. Purée the soup with a stick blender or food processor so that it’s creamy, but still a bit chunky. Add the lime juice and Tequila. Adjust the salt and thin the soup with additional water if needed.
  3. Step 3: Cut the corn tortillas in half. Cut each half in 1/8″ julienne strips. Heat a large skillet to high heat. Add the oil and the tortilla strips and reduce the heat to medium-high. Toss well so that the tortilla strips are well coated with the oil and spread them over the whole surface of the pan. Sauté for 6 to 8 minutes until the strips are golden, tossing occasionally. Remove from heat and spread on a tray lined with paper towels. Sprinkle with sea salt and let cool to room temperature. Ladle soup in bowls. Spoon a small dollop of crème fraîche or sour cream in the center of each bowl. Sprinkle with the cilantro, top with the shoestring tortillas and serve.
  4. Cook’s note: The tortilla strips can be made up to 3 days ahead. Store at room temperature in a sealed container.

Black bean soup shots

Viviane’s tip
  1. Served in elegant sherry glasses, this black bean soup makes a gorgeous and stylish hors d’oeuvre… 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 liquidy and easier for your guests to sip. Bottoms up!

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

soup, black bean, poblano peppers


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  3. I have some water/broth left over and it smells sooo good. Any ideas on how to repurpose it? I can just eat it by the spoonful i suppose :).

  4. Anyone try this with canned black beans? If so, how did they turn out?

    • Hi Ernesto, I am a purist, so I always cook my own beans, but canned ones will be fine for this recipe. Make sure to drain them thoroughly though and use spring water to replace the cooking liquid from the beans… Cheers!

      • Thanks for responding Viviane. Gonna try this today.

        • You are most welcome, Ernesto. Do let me know how your tacos turned out!

          • Just reporting back. I made ’em with Busch canned black beans and it turned out amazing. I did half the beans with a soup like consistency and just topped with avocado and cilantro and it was sooo efffing good. The other half i made with a thicker refried like consistency and used them inside a quesadilla with monterey jack cheese and that too was delicious. Ill mos def be making this again. Thanks again! Peace.

          • Hi Ernesto! I am so glad you loved this recipe… it certainly is a flavor-packed one! Thank you so much for reporting back. Cheers!

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  6. We both had black bean soup on the mind this week. I love your addition of poblanos and tequila. How exquisite. I’m still nibbling on leftovers from the batch I made. Great dish on cold days.

  7. Love this black bean soup recipe! I use the same set of garnishes for most of my southwestern type dishes. Crispy tortillas are the best!

  8. Wow. Thanks for this delicious recipe. I can’t wait to try it. Never have I thought to put tequila in my soup. I love it to drink on its own, but in my soup? I am excited to be this adventurous. Thanks!

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  10. Hello Viviane! I’m back and ready to cook your beautiful Black bean soup. Looks good! Thanks for the Crispy shoestring tortillas video, great idea.

    • Donna! It’s lovely to see you here again. Enjoy making the soup and let me know how it turns out. Very glad you liked the video… There are more on the way 🙂

  11. Demetra Lambros

    Viviane, I just made this soup. To die for!!! Plus my kitchen smells DIVINE. Plus the soup is STUNNING. (I have some red in there too as I didin’t have poblano peppers so substituted a red and green from the variety I had on hand.) In fact I can’t get myself to puree it! The red, light green and orange against the black soup is for a photograph. I think with black bean soup or chili it is so important to use the stock from the cooked beans; water not only doesn’t taste as good (rich), the resulting color the soup/chili is usually a pallid grey. When I first started cooking my own beans I would alway drain them and forget to keep the stock! So I have my experience with water…. One more thing: I have to say that the LIME JUICE is BRILLIANT. The funniest part is that it is 9:00 in the morning and I can’t stop eating black bean soup!!! THANK YOU

    • Demetra! Oh you are just so wonderful! Thank you for always writing such great comments. I am sure that it’s not possible to find poblano peppers in Greece. I wonder, are spicy peppers grown in Greece? What kind? And I am thrilled that you don’t throw away the cooking liquid from your beans. I completely agree with you that it’s incredibly flavorful… And it’s also packed with good nutrients.

      Enjoy your breakfast my dear! You’re making me crave a bowl for breakfast too – a very healthy and delicious way to start the day. THANK YOU Demetra, you are simply delightful.

  12. Love your helpful video, was really well done!! I have had a craving for black bean soup, so I will definitely have to try this recipe out:)
    Take care,

  13. I love seeing a recipe for something tried and true and sitting up straighter in my chair when I realize that this is something totally different. What a way to spice up what can be a boring (although still delicious) soup! I love the addition of poblanos (a favorite of mine) and tequila!

  14. What a magnificent recipe for soup. I love the flavor combinations and the presentation is superb!

  15. Demetra Lambros

    Well Viviane, I have been 100% devoted to my black bean chili recipe for years and years. Even when I try to stray from the course, I can’t. I always make enough to freeze some, I frequently eat it for a solo lunch and I have happily served it to guests. I consider it THE winter staple. But your recipe has convinced me actually use my black beans for something new! Miraculous!! I always use dried ancho chilies and LOVE it. I will try it with the fresh chilies. Looking forward. Yummmmm. Thank you AGAIN.

  16. I’m totally making this. The idea of tequila lime at the end sounds perfect.

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