Black Bean Soup with Lime Crema and Cilantro Chimichurri – The most incredible, hearty black bean soup, served with a homemade lime crema and cilantro chimichurri
Soup season has finally arrived! It’s pretty rainy over here and once it stops it’s going to be quite chilly. The best way to get through these weather shifts is a big bowl of comforting soup.
For my first soup of the season, I wanted to make a soup I’ve been wanting to try all year long. I just can’t bring myself to enjoy hot soup when it’s still hot outside so I needed to wait for the weather to be a little cooler to really enjoy this soup in its entirety.
Now that the weather is turning, it’s finally time to make this Black Bean Soup with Lime Crema and Cilantro Chimichurri. I have been making lots of black beans recently because my daughter loves them. I’ve been experimenting with changing them up by adding spices and other veggies, making them super hearty. It got me thinking…why don’t I try out a black bean soup???
I developed a very basic black bean soup that really highlights the flavor of the beans. Then, I made a chimichurri sauce packed with cilantro, garlic, and lime juice which has so much pop in every bite. This would be used to drizzle over the soup, along with a homemade lime crema. To say that this soup is packed with flavor is an understatement!
Canned Beans vs Dry Beans
When making this black bean soup, I wanted it to taste the best as can be. Since beans are the main ingredient, I wanted them to really shine. I thought the best way to do this was to use dry beans instead of canned beans.
I had never used dry beans before but I heard that they take longer to cook and thus absorb more flavor of the soup and end up tasting incredible. Therefore, I decided to give them a try. Big mistake.
Dry beans hold their shape much better than the canned ones but that also makes them more firm in texture than canned ones. I didn’t particularly like this firmness. Also, because the beans cook for so long, they start to go from black to almost a purple color. My black bean soup started to look more like a purple bean soup. All in all, I wasn’t a fan of using dry beans.
Needless to say, the canned beans solved for all the issues I saw with the dry ones. They had the perfect texture that I was used to and they kept their black color because they only needed to cook in the soup for about 20 minutes.
Cilantro Chimichurri Sauce
With a black bean soup as yummy as this one, you may be asking “why the chimichurri sauce?” Well, let me tell you! I love adding chopped cilantro to my black beans, but the flavor seems to go away when the cilantro is cooked. Since the chimichurri is a raw sauce, you can really taste the cilantro. Plus, while being in the sauce, the cilantro is preserved so you can use up any leftover cilantro leaves you may have and make them last longer.
I cannot enjoy black beans without a scoop of sour cream so I wanted to bring that same tradition to black bean soup. However, I took the sour cream to a new level by thinning it out into a crema by adding lime juice. I also added in a little lime zest for extra lime flavor and a little salt to balance it all out.
Tips & Tricks
- For the chimichurri sauce, I used a food processor to help chop the ingredients finely. However, I’ve made chimichurri without a food processor, too – it just requires more work. To do this, just chop all the ingredients and add them to a bowl with good-quality olive oil.
- The soup does not sit long after adding the beans and broth. Therefore, you want to make sure to cook the veggies long enough so they are soft before adding those two ingredients. Otherwise, you may bite into a crunchy piece of onion.
- I didn’t want lots of spice in my soup so I took all the seeds out of the jalapeno before chopping it. If you want spice, add a few of the seeds into the mix.
Black Bean Soup with Lime Crema and Cilantro Chimichurri
For the soup:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium red onion
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 small jalapeno seeded and diced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- 3 15-ounce cans black beans
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 bay leaf
For the cilantro chimichurri:
- ¾ cup fresh cilantro leaves
- ¼ cup fresh parsley leaves
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup chopped red onion (from soup recipe)
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
For the lime crema:
- ½ cup sour cream
- ⅛ teaspoon fresh lime zest
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
For the soup:
- Peel, halve, and dice red onion. Scoop 1/4 cup and set aside for chimichurri sauce. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large Dutch oven or stock pot. Add remaining diced onion and cook until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add minced garlic and diced jalapeno and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Add tomato paste, salt, cumin, and chili powder. Stir until the mixture is combined and veggies are covered in tomato paste. Add beans and broth and stir to combine. Add bay leaf, and bring mixture to a boil and then reduce to medium-low so it can simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until soup has thickened to your desired consistency.
- Remove bay leaf. Using an immersion blender, blend soup for about 10 seconds or until you reach desired consistency. Serve immediately
For the chimichurri:
- Add reserved chopped onion, parsley, cilantro, salt, lime juice, vinegar, garlic cloves, and red pepper to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until mixture is all chopped up. Scrape down the sides of the bowl if necessary. With the processor on, drizzle in olive oil until it has all been added. Turn off processor. Chimichurri is now ready for use! Drizzle a little into each bowl of soup. Refrigerate leftovers.
For the lime crema:
- Mix all ingredients together until smooth. Add more lime juice, if needed. If too sour, add a little sugar to offset. Place a teaspoon of crema into soup. Refrigerate leftovers.
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I’m assuming you didn’t soak your black beans overnight. That would have helped the texture a lot. I only use dried beans and always soak overnight.
Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen says
This looks like my kind of soup! Flavorful and healthy!
Nicole Hinrichs says
Chimichurri is my absolute favorite. I can’t wait to try this recipe
I love soups, so will surely try your recipe x
I love love love black bean soup! Great recipe!
This soup is filling and full of flavors. Will surely give it a try!
Made this for the family and it was a hit!
Erica Schwarz says
My family loves soup dinners like this so we will be making this soon!
Wow this takes soup to a whole new level! I really love how you added the two different sauces to the top of the top to enhance the flavor! So delicious!
Heather C says
Those are some of my favorite flavors all together in one recipe. I’ve printed this out to make this weekend!