Brazilian Black Bean Soup

Source: "Moosewood Cookbook" by Mollie Katzen

Time: overnight to soak the beans and 1 1/2 hours of cooking. (with canned beans, this can be reduced to 30 minutes.)
Servings: 6-8

This soup is thick, nutritious, and intricately flavored.


  • 2 cups dry black beans (or 4 cups cooked)
  • 4 cups water (none if using canned beans)
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 large onions, cubed
  • 10 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp cumin, ground
  • 2 to 2 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups orange juice
  • black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne powder
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced (or 1 can tomatoes, drained)


  • sour cream (tofutti sourcream for lent)
  • cilantro
  • salsa
  • lime juice


With dried beans: Soak beans in plenty of water for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. Drain and bring to a boil in 4 cups fresh water. Cover and simmer for 1 1/4 hours. In the last 30 minutes of cooking, stir-fry onion, garlic, cumin, and salt until the onion is translucent. Add this to the beans. Stir in orange juice, pepper, cayenne, and tomatoes. Puree all or some of the soup in a blender and return to pot. Simmer for 10 minutes more and serve.