This hearty Black Bean Soup with Chipotle Crema is simple, delicious and easy to make. The chipotle crema adds a wonderful and complex smoky flavor to the soup. Don’t skip the crema or the toppings!!! Trust me, they add a world of flavor!
Let’s talk beans. Dried versus canned. What do you prefer?
I can honestly say I use more canned beans than dried beans. Here’s why – I am not all that organized and I don’t always plan ahead (shhhh don’t tell anyone).
Black Bean Soup with Chipotle Crema
When using dried beans, you must soak them for at least 8 hours to overnight – I don’t always know I’m making beans until one hour before dinner! No seriously, some days I wait until the last possible minute to figure out what to cook that day.
Dried beans also require a longer cooking time, sometimes more than 2 hours. On busy weeknights when I want dinner ready in 30 minutes or less, canned beans are the way to go.
Now the pros – dried beans are much more affordable and taste better because you can cook them with whatever flavors you choose. From simple vegetables and broths to ham hocks and bacon – to complex tomato-molasses sauces. If I have time for long simmering, then this is a great and affordable option for a delicious meal.
Canned beans may lack a little flavor but one thing is for sure, bean canners have perfected their canning methods and what you find in a can is perfectly cooked, whole, uniform and creamy beans that require very little cooking if any at all! Dinner in 15 minutes is definitely an option with canned beans.
So what to do about the lack of flavor? You add flavor to them! Sometimes all it takes is 15 minutes to achieve full flavored canned beans.
In the case of this Black Bean Soup with Chipotle Crema, I cook the beans with vegetables and spices for about 30 minutes. The result is as delicious as with the dried bean counterpart.
Now the other debate about canned beans. To rinse or not to rinse? The answer varies according to the recipe I’m making. For soups, stews, and even dips I don’t rinse my beans. The liquid – even though it doesn’t always look appealing – tastes just like the beans. There’s no need for rinsing! Now if I am making a salad, I do rinse the beans for better texture (who wants bean goo on their salad anyway?)
- You can use chicken or vegetable stock for this recipe. Here’s my recipe for Basic Chicken Stock
- For the crema, you can use sour cream or creme fraiche instead of the Mexican crema.
- The recipe calls for chipotle sauce. You can use chipotles in adobo sauce . I take a few chipotles from the can, open them and scrape off the seeds. I chop them and add them to the crema together with 1 to 2 tablespoons of the adobo sauce.
- If you don’t have time to roast poblano peppers, you can use canned mild roasted jalapenos instead. The flavor is a bit different but still delicious.