Black Bean Soup for Lent

February 10, 2016


Healthy Black Bean Soup - Leslie Anne Tarabella

Moon Pies are now just crumbs on our faces as Mardi Gras has come to a successful end. It’s time to straighten up and fly right, and our diets are a good place to start.


Many people give up meat for Lent, at least on Fridays. I gave up all meat, every day, except for seafood one year, and just about passed out cold Easter morning. What I did to that ham after church wasn’t pretty, so I won’t be doing that again. But if you are in need of a healthy, meat-free dish, you’ll love this black bean soup recipe.


Black Bean Soup for LentLast week, in my post about school lunches, I told you now that my son eats at home every day, I’ve been searching for nutritious recipes that will fill him up.


Black Beans for Lent - Leslie Anne Tarabella

This recipe is from The Fresh Market web site, and turned out to be a complete meal for me and a great accompaniment to a big sandwich, apple, and a slice of lemon pound cake for my son.


Black Bean Soup for Lent - Leslie Anne Tarabella

I omitted the avocado and “nutritional yeast” ( I don’t even know what that is! All I had was the non-nutritional variety – ha). It turned out fine, so I guess it was a good call.


  • A friend (wonderful cook) gave me her black bean soup recipe from the Cuban district in Tampa (hope I remember that correctly) and it is a real favorite of my family’s….is cooked with ham hocks, olive oil, etc. and served over yellow rice and topped with chopped onions which have been soaked in vinegar. To.die.for!

    • I think I’d love the addition of vinegar. I like a little tang to my food!

    • Leslie Anne says:

      Thanks Katie. You too.

  • Are you a Moon Pie gal, Leslie Anne? That’s one of Tennessee’s culinary gifts to the world!

    I was late in life meeting black beans as we were pinto beans kind of people, but I learned to love them after reading novelist Laurie Colwin’s More Home Cooking. She wrote that she first tasted black bean soup when she was sixteen at a lunch party attended by glamorous college women. She wrote that she felt– and I pulled my copy out to get this right–she felt she:

    “…had died and entered a heaven in which people played the cello, stayed up at night discussing Virginia Woolf, saw plays by Jean-Paul Sarte, and went to Paris for their junior years abroad.”

    So who knows what effect your black bean soup will have on your teenage son!

    • Leslie Anne says:

      Oh – my – STARS! You win the best comment in the world contest! I LOVE it! I’m going to have to look up this Laurie Colwin because I love this description!

      Black Bean Soup wasn’t a regular at my house growing up, but I first had it at Schilling’s Restaurant in Marietta, GA and was surprised how tasty it was. It really doesn’t look like much, so it’s rich, tangy flavor was a surprise and I was hooked.

      I only wish I had expressed my appreciation for the dish as eloquently as Ms. Colwin.

      Thanks for the awesome tidbit!

      • Leslie Anne says:

        And also . . . you know that Mobile AL consumes the most Moon Pies of any other city, don’t you? They drop a giant Moon Pie from a building at midnight on New Year’s Eve and serve up the world’s largest Moon Pie to the crowd. We love our Tennessee Moon Pies down here!

        • I did not know that, Leslie Anne! Do they pass around RC Colas to accompany the big Moon Pie?

          Honey, you will love Laurie Colwin! Her food essays books are Home Cooking and More Home Cooking and they are fascinating. The world lost her way too soon but she also wrote some great novels as a young woman.

    • Leslie Anne says:

      Start soaking those beans!

  • Soup sounds wonderful and winter weather is the perfect time to try it. Thanks for the reminder and the recipe.

    • Leslie Anne says:

      It gets so hot around here in the summer, soup is almost a seasonal food! Kind of like Moon Pies, I guess!

  • We have black bean soup *every* Wednesday night–straight out of a Goya can, served over rice and topped with shredded cheese and/or sometimes sour cream. It’s our standard “Rotary night” meal.

    • Leslie Anne says:

      That’s a quick way to make it. Live and learn!

  • Looks wonderful, hearty and filling. We like black beans, too. I use them in my chili now instead of the red ones. I like meat, don’t eat a lot of it, but I miss it if I omit it. For myself, I limit my serving to that “deck of cards” size, and that seems to work out for me. I have tried going without, but I get anemic very easily, so I don’t think it is a great call for me, health wise. It is so good that you are able to feed your son “brain food” instead of the iffy lunches the schools serve.

    • Leslie Anne says:

      I’m like you — I don’t eat much red meat, but if I don’t have it every now and then, I feel flimsy. I think it must be the royal princess gene or something along those lines! The Beef Council will love us!

  • Your son is lucky to have his mom making him a healthy and hearty lunch every day! I’m not big on eating a lot of meats and recipes that provide protein get my attention. Black beans are in my pantry, along with many other dried beans. This seems the perfect day to make this soup, it is cold up here up north 🙂 A good recipe. Thanks for sharing it

    • Leslie Anne says:

      Thanks Emily. It’s one of those soups that you usually have everything on hand to make. I only had to pick up the cilantro, but that’s optional. Stay warm!

  • i love black bean soup! i haven’t had a good bowl in way too long. this batch looks delicious, and makes meat seem unnecessary!

    • Leslie Anne says:

      It’s one of my favorites as well. Hope you like it!

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