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

Black bean soup shots

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.

Black bean soup shots

For a bit of fun, try dunking a strip of crispy tortilla in each glass. You can find the instructions in this recipe.

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

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!

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

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.

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

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.


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

Black beans

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  • Reply 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.

    • Reply 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!

  • Reply Daniela October 10, 2012 at 2:44 am

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

    • Reply Viviane October 14, 2012 at 1:35 pm

      Thank you so much Daniela!

  • Reply 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! 😀

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

    Such beautiful styling – thanks for the inspiration!

    • Reply Viviane September 25, 2012 at 12:31 pm

      Thank you Julia!

  • Reply 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!

    • Reply Viviane September 24, 2012 at 10:05 am

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

  • Reply Donna Ford December 16, 2011 at 11:25 am

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

  • Reply 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!

  • Reply 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,

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

    Beautiful and stylish!

  • Reply 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!

  • Reply Gwen February 5, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    my fav soup has never looked so good!

  • Reply 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!

  • Reply mimi February 5, 2011 at 11:49 am

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

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

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

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

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

  • Reply 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.

  • Reply Liz February 3, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    Great serving ideas….both so pretty!

  • Reply Ambika February 3, 2011 at 7:07 pm

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

  • Reply Wenderly February 3, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    Looks divine!

  • Reply 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.

  • Reply 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

  • Reply 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.

  • Reply 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.

  • Reply Rajesh January 28, 2011 at 11:26 am

    The soup served in sherry glasses is my absolute favorite!

  • Reply 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.

    • Reply Viviane January 28, 2011 at 10:08 am

      Thank you Sylvie!

  • Reply Marc January 28, 2011 at 12:01 am

    One word: WOW!!!!

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