Black Bean Soup with Kielbasa


When one of our brides at Tappan Hill told us it was an old tradition to serve black bean soup and kielbasa at family weddings, we developed this robust, mouth-watering version for her. It was so successful, we quickly added it to our list of favorite soups

Kitchenware: colander, large saucepan, chef's knife, cheese grater, small mixing bowl, food processor, ladle

Preparation Time: 1 hour (includes time for beans to soak)

Cooking Time: 2 hours

Do-Ahead: Make the soup 2 days ahead, cover, and store in the refrigerator. This soup can also be made in stages, depending on your time constraints. Soak the beans 4 days in advance, make the soup base 3 days in advance, add the kielbasa 2 days before serving. Refrigerate, covered. Warm the soup in the top of a stainless-steel double boiler before serving.

  • 8 ounces dry black beans (half a 16-ounce bag)
  • 2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • 1/2 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 5 canned plum tomatoes with 2 cups of the juice
  • 9 cups water
  • 1/2 pound kielbasa, cut into chunks


  • 1-1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup grated jalapeño Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  1. To prepare the beans: place in the saucepan with water to cover and let stand for 1 hour. (You may also soak the beans in 4 cups of cold water overnight.) Drain and rinse the beans for either method.
  2. Heat the olive oil in saucepan. sauté the onion and red bell pepper until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Add the seasonings. Stir and cook for 1 minute on low heat. Add the sugar, plum tomatoes, tomato juice, and water. Add the drained beans and simmer on low heat for 1-3/4 hours, or until the beans are soft.
  3. Ladle the soup into the food processor in small batches and pulse. The consistency of the soup should be a chunky purée.
  4. Return the soup to the saucepan and add the kielbasa. Heat until the kielbasa is warmed through and the soup is hot.

4 Servings

Service: Ladle the soup into crocks or huge mugs and garnish with the parsley. Serve the onions, Monterey Jack cheese, and sour cream in separate bowls, each with its own spoon.

Cook's Tips:

  • Add chunks of hot dogs or leftover meatballs in place of kielbasa
  • Reheat all soups in the top of a stainless-steel double boiler. Reseason to taste.

The Bride & Groom's First Cookbook

Recipes from The Bride & Groom's First Cookbook:

The Bride & Groom's First Cookbook
Recipes and menus for cooking together in the '90s
by Abigail Kirsch
with Susan M. Greenberg
Illustrations by Stephanie Langley
Doubleday, 1996
$27.50 (hardcover)
ISBN: 0-385-47635-3
Reprinted with permission.


This Archived Page created between 1994 and 2001. Modified August 2007

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