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(Almost) Nigella's Black Bean Soup

(Almost) Nigella's Black Bean Soup
Although I'm the first to say that I make and eat soup year-round (there are so many great summer soups!), cold weather, snow and ice has hit us hard lately and I've been in even more of a "gimme soup" kind of mood lately. But that works well since I've also had a lot of bones and carcasses from roasted meats to use for making stock lately, as well.

Like a lot people, I love using ham stock or a ham bone to make rich, meaty black bean soup like this crockpot black bean soup. This version from Nigella Lawson is a bit of a break from the norm, though. It utilizes the broth, juices, and ham bone left over from making her Coca-Cola Ham, which results in a bean soup that is a little sweet and unexpected.

However, if you're in the mood for the soup, but don't feel like making a ham first to get that sweet, sticky broth, you can mimic the flavor by combining cola (preferably real sugar Coca-Cola, but the choice is yours) and ham stock.

yield: serves 8print recipe
(Almost) Nigella's Black Bean Soup

Nigella's Black Bean Soup

prep time: 10 MINScook time: 1 hour and 30 MINStotal time: 1 hours and 40 mins
Coca-cola adds a bit of sweetness to this simple black bean soup.


  • 1 pound dried black beans
  • 8-10 cups ham stock
  • 12 ounces coca-cola (preferably sweetened with real sugar)
  • juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
To serve:
  • sour cream
  • chopped fresh cilantro
  • diced avocado
  • lime wedges


  1. Rinse the black beans and place them in a large pot. Add 8 cups of the ham stock and coca-cola to the pot and bring to a boil. Partially cover, and then reduce heat to low and cook until beans are tender, ~90 minutes; add remaining stock as needed.
  2. Use an immersion blender to blend the soup into a thick puree, leaving some of the beans partially whole. Taste and season with salt and pepper, as needed.
  3. Ladle into bowls, add a dollop of sour cream, a smattering of cilantro, and some diced avocado. Serve with lime wedges on the side so people can squeeze over as they wish.
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