Black Bean Soup


(click on pics to enlarge)

There are many variations of this soup from a Spanish cumin flavor to a sweeter version I prefer with Sherry or Marsala added when served. I have perfected this dish over many years and I say perfected b/c when served hot on and cold day there are few things better. I have merged several variations.  I use ground coriander, which is ground cilantro seed.

1 or 2 slices of bacon (chopped into thin lardons)
1 LB. thick slice of Black Forest ham, cut into squares (the deli can slice a 1/4″ thick slice) or 1 LB. Pork shoulder (cut into small pieces)
16 oz. dried black beans
1 small onion (chopped)
1 red bell pepper (diced)
1 green bell pepper (diced)
2 garlic cloves (minced)
1 TBSP olive oil
4 cups chicken stock or broth
½ cup dry white wine (I use a cheap Chardonnay)
Sherry or Marsala
Salt and pepper
1 tsp ground coriander

Add the bacon with a little olive oil on low, don’t fry it, just sweat it and then add the onions and bell pepper and sauté the vegies.

Add the white wine and the beans and then the chicken stock. Bring to a boil then reduce to a low temp and cook for roughly two hours.  Then add the meat and cook another 30 minutes.


You don’t have to do this, but at this point I turn off the heat, let the pot cool and place it covered in a frig overnight.  The next day I cook until the beans are just right adding in the salt and pepper and the seasoning like coriander and adjust the amount of liquid.

When serving, pour one shot of Sherry or Marsala in the bowl and then ladle the soup into the bowl. The warm soup will generate the flavor into a very appetizing aroma.

As of 11/24/19

Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup (Samgyetang)


(click on pics to enlarge)

There are two Asian soups I really enjoy.  I am totally O-M-Lambs besotted about them! One is a Vietnamese soup called Pho (Phở) and the other is Korean Samgyetang.

Pho is pronounced “fuh”.  In fact, I get it from a restaurant here called What the Pho.  Pho is a complicated broth made with beef brisket, ox tail and beef bones, rice noodles called bánh Phở, star anise and other specialty herbs.  In south Mississippi it is as popular as Gumbo.  It is much cheaper to buy than to make.

The other soup is Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup (Samgyetang).  This soup is perfect for the cold wet days to come when the germs and bugs are out and you’re feeling under the weather (or not so O-M-Lambs besotted).  It is much simpler to make than Pho, but it requires a visit to the local Asian market.  I work near a wonderful Vietnamese market that sells all the necessary ingredients.

The main ingredient for this soup obviously is dried ginseng root.  If ginseng root is not available you can use red ginseng tea sachets.  The other is a red Asian date called jujube (jujuba). This date comes from the Ziziphus jujuba plant.  Of course you need to find a small one serving chicken.  I have seen recipes recommending a Cornish Hen if you can’t find a small single serving chicken.  You will also need garlic cloves and sticky rice.  Ask for “sticky rice”.  I asked for glutinous rice and the clerk had no idea what I was talking about.  I then asked for sticky rice and he walked me to the rice section and pointed to two bags. One bag he called “sticky rice” and the other bag he called “very sticky rice”.  He laughed.

Ingredients for one: (But the Little Woman and I will split this dish.  Who drinks 6 cups of chicken soup in one sitting?)



  • 1 young whole chicken
  • Several dried ginseng roots
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 4 jujube (red dates)
  • 2 green onions (scallions)
  • Salt
  • A little chicken bouillon if you want to add more chicken flavor

Rice Stuffing:

  •  ½ cup rice uncooked
  • 1 ginseng root
  • 2 jujube dates
  • 1 garlic clove


Sack of rice (For extra rice in a cheesecloth pouch)

  • ½ cup rice uncooked
  • 1 ginseng root
  • 2 jujube dates
  • 1 garlic clove


Make the broth and bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer.  Stuff the chicken with the rice stuffing and close the chicken with a toothpick and then make the rice pouch.  Put everything in the pot and simmer for 1 ½ to 2 hours.  Serve with chopped green onions.


Serve by spooning rice in the bottom of the bowl, add chicken, soup and cover with scallions.

The ginseng has a wonderful musty comfort food flavor.