2 Ina Garten Black Bean Soups (With Tips And Tricks)

Renowned for her culinary expertise, Ina Garten presents three savory black bean soup recipes that please any palate. With her years of experience and knack for flavor, Garten’s creations promise to take your soup game to new heights.

Whether you’re a seasoned chef or just starting in the kitchen, these recipes provide the perfect balance of simplicity and taste. To make it even better, invaluable tips and tricks accompany each recipe to ensure your soups turn out perfectly every time.

Black bean soup provides some much-needed comfort and sustenance regardless of the occasion.

Ina Garten Black Bean Soup

So grab your apron, and prepare to impress your family and friends with these hearty and satisfying creations that are as easy to make as they are delicious to savor.

1. Ina Garten’s Traditional Black Bean Soup

In crafting a perfect black bean soup, we blend the earthy richness of black beans with savory ham hocks for a hearty dish that warms the soul.

Let’s dive into the recipe, shall we?


  • 450g black beans, picked over, rinsed, and drained
  • 30g unsalted butter or oil
  • 150g finely chopped onion
  • 50g finely chopped celery
  • 25g finely chopped carrot
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tsp minced fresh thyme
  • 2 large smoked ham hocks, about 530g
  • 2.25L water or homemade chicken stock
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 125ml dry sherry
  • Optional serving garnishes: Sour cream or creme fraiche, finely chopped hard-cooked egg, or 1 minced spring onion


  • Begin by preparing the black beans. Cover the beans with cold water in a large saucepan by 5 cm. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes, remove from heat, cover, and set aside for one hour. Drain and set aside.
  • Heat the butter or oil over medium heat in a large soup pot. Add the onions, celery, carrots, and sauté until wilted and golden, about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and thyme, sautéing for an additional three minutes.
  • Add the soaked black beans, ham hocks, and water or stock to the pot. Bring to a simmer, then cover and adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Allow the soup to cook until the beans and meat are tender, approximately 1-1/2 hours.
  • Once the soup is cooked, turn off the heat. Remove the ham hocks from the soup and set aside to cool. Once cooled, remove the meat from the hocks, discarding any bones, fat, and skin. Cut the meat into small cubes and reserve.
  • Using an immersion blender or working in batches with a traditional blender, puree the soup until smooth. Return the soup to the pot and add the reserved ham meat. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then stir in the sherry.
  • To serve, ladle the soup into warmed bowls and top with garnishes, such as sour cream, chopped hard-cooked egg, or minced spring onion.

Cooking Tip: To enhance your black bean soup’s flavor, add a splash of balsamic vinegar to introduce a subtle tanginess and a hint of smokiness with a dash of smoked paprika. Experiment with quantities to suit your taste preference and impress your guests with a gourmet delight.

Pairing Dish: Serve this rich and flavorful black bean soup alongside a fresh green salad and a crusty loaf of bread for a satisfying meal to please everyone at the table. Enjoy!

2. Ina Garten’s Vegetarian Black Bean Soup

In this recipe, we will explore the process of making a rich and flavorful black bean soup. We will follow the guidance of the renowned chef, Ina Garten, as we discover a fantastic vegetarian alternative to Ina’s delicious black bean soup.


  • 4 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
  • 3 celery ribs, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (use ¼ teaspoon if sensitive to spice)
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar or 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  • Cook Veggies: Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add the onions, celery, and carrots with a sprinkle of salt. Cook until softened, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, about 10-15 minutes.
  • Add Spices: Stir in the minced garlic, ground cumin, and red pepper flakes. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds, allowing the spices to release their aromatic flavors.
  • Add Black Beans and Broth: Pour the rinsed black beans and vegetable broth. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer, allowing it to cook until the broth is richly flavored and the beans are tender – after approximately 30 minutes.
  • Blend Some Soup: Using a spoon, transfer about 4 cups of the soup to a blender and blend until smooth. Carefully add the blended mixture to the pot, stirring well to incorporate.
  • Final Touch: Stir in the chopped cilantro, sherry vinegar, or lime juice, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Allow the soup to simmer for a few more minutes to meld the flavors together.

Cooking Tip: If your black bean soup is too thin, don’t fret! Blend more of the soup until smooth and return it to the pot, or let it simmer for 10-15 minutes to reduce the liquid.

Pairing Dish: Consider serving this flavorful soup with sides like warm cornbread, a crisp green salad, or crunchy tortilla chips for added texture and flavor contrast.

Serving Suggestions And Adaptations For Black Bean Soup

Black bean soup is a versatile and nutritious dish that can be tailored to suit various tastes and dietary preferences.

Our favorite serving suggestions for black bean soup include garnishes that add texture and flavor, such as chopped fresh cilantro, diced avocado, a squeeze of lime juice, sour cream, or a sprinkle of shredded cheese.

For a heartier meal, you can serve the soup alongside rice or warm tortillas or top it with crispy tortilla strips for added crunch, but for ultimate comfort, serve it with crusty, warm, buttered bread.

In terms of adaptations, black bean soup is highly adaptable. Vegetarians and vegans can ensure the soup is meat-free by using vegetable broth instead of chicken or beef broth and omitting any meat garnishes, opting instead for plant-based toppings.

For those looking to add more protein, shredded chicken, pork, or beef can be a savory addition. To adjust the soup’s spiciness to individual preferences, the amount of chili peppers or chili powder can be increased for a hotter flavor or reduced for a milder version.

Additionally, adding vegetables like bell peppers, corn, or zucchini can enhance the soup’s nutritional value and flavor profile.

These adaptations make black bean soup a flexible dish that can cater to a wide array of dietary needs and taste preferences, making it a satisfying option for any meal.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a tasty and satisfying meal that is equally nutritious, Ina Garten’s black bean soups are a great option – and they’re also easy to prepare.

Whether you use dried or canned beans, you’ll have a flavorful and comforting dish perfect for any time of the year – but especially welcome in the colder months.

To make these delicious soups, gather your ingredients and follow Garten’s guidelines to walk you through the process.

Once you’ve finished, you’ll enjoy a warm and nourishing meal that will make you happy and content. So why not try it and experience the joys of homemade cooking?

Up next: Try Ina Garten’s corned beef and cabbage dishes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you need to soak black beans before making soup?

No, it’s not mandatory to soak black beans before making soup. However, soaking can reduce cooking time and make them easier to digest. If you choose not to soak, simply adjust the cooking time accordingly.

How do you make black bean soup less bitter?

To make black bean soup less bitter, consider adding sweet vegetables like carrots or bell peppers to balance the flavors. Additionally, acidic ingredients like tomatoes or lime juice can help counteract bitterness. Avoid overcooking the beans, as this can intensify their bitterness. Taste the soup as you cook and adjust the seasoning accordingly to achieve the desired balance of flavors.

How do you thicken black bean soup?

To thicken black bean soup, blend a portion of the soup and mix it back in, simmer to reduce, or add a cornstarch slurry (1 part cornstarch mixed with 2 parts cold water) and cook until thickened.

Why is black bean soup healthy?

Black bean soup is healthy because it’s high in fiber, protein, and vitamins while being low in fat. These nutrients support heart health, aid digestion, and can help manage weight.

2 Ina Garten Black Bean Soups (With Tips And Tricks)

Recipe by Barbara HuntCourse: Ina Garten


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  • Choose a recipe
  • Gather your ingredients
  • Prepare your soup
  • Enjoy.
Barbara Hunt


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