Simple Black Bean Soup

Brazilian Soup



1 green or red bell pepper
1 medium carrot
3 garlic cloves
1 medium yellow or white onion
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ teaspoon black pepper
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 15-ounce cans black beans
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons orange juice
2 teaspoons orange zest
¼ cup diced tomatoes
2½ cups vegetable broth
4 green onions

Serves 6. Takes 1 hour 20 minutes.


Seed and dice bell pepper. Dice carrot, garlic cloves, and onion. Add carrot, garlic, onion, and oil to pot. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until yellow onion softens. Stir frequently. Add bell pepper, black pepper, cayenne pepper, cumin, and red pepper flakes. Cook at medium heat for 5 minutes or until bell pepper softens. Stir frequently.

While bell pepper softens, drain and rinse black beans. Add bay leaf, black beans, orange juice, orange zest, tomato, and vegetable broth. Bring to boil using high heat. Stir occasionally. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer at low heat for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. While soup simmers, dice green onions. Remove bay leaf. Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with green onions and tomato.


1) The notorious pirate, Blackbeard, terrorized merchant shipping in the Caribbean during the 1710s while the universally loved Black bean soup hails from Brazil.

2) Black Beard’s true name was Edward Teach. But he wanted a name whose his very mention would paralyze merchant ship captains, a nom du piratage if you will. He so loved this recipe that he, at first, went by Black Bean Soup. His crew demurred, asserting that this moniker would never strike terror in anyone. Indeed, his fellow pirates said scaring the bejeebus out of their prey was very much a good thing. After much discussion, the pirates voted for Blackbeard as Teach’s new name.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on

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