Sopa Feijoada (Tangy Black Bean Soup)

I grew up eating black beans, long before they became widely available.  When my parents made trips to Wichita (a four hour trip), my mom would come home with bank sacks full of dried black beans, about 50 lbs worth.  She would make black bean soup and from the leftovers, refried black beans.  I have tried many different soup recipes, but none I like as much as one I made after reading about Feijoada (Tangy Black Beans) in Diet for a Small Planet, the original vegetarian “bible”.  I have to admit that I have never made the original recipe.  I turned it into soup on day one.  That was about 30 years ago and I have been tinkering with recipes ever since.  This soup has remained my favorite black bean recipe.  I just can’t find one I like better, so I quit looking quite some time ago.

This soup gets it’s “tangy” from an orange.  You will cook it in the soup peel and all.  It adds a wonderful flavor.  After cooking, I remove it, but its flavor is there for all to enjoy.  I have always prepared my beans in a pressure cooker, just like my mom did.  It is a marvelous time saver.  I have included the stockpot method as well, which will require several hours.  If you love soup from dried beans, invest in a pressure cooker (I got mine in a garage sale while in college for $1), it makes it so much easier.

Note:  Leftovers make pretty darn good refried beans too!

You’ll need:

1 large onion, chopped

4 cloves, garlic, minced

1 cup sweet peppers, chopped

1 Tbs paprika (sweet or smoked)

1 1/2 Tbs ground coriander

1 Tbs ground cumin

1/2 cup salsa verde or tomatillo salsa (optional)

1-2 tsp hot sauce (optional)

2 1/2 cups washed and soaked, black beans  (beans should be washed and sorted to remove any rocks or grit.  Add 8-9 cups of water and let soak for 6-8 hours, then drain and rinse OR add same amt of water, heat till boiling, then remove from heat and let stand 1 hour, drain and rinse)

1 can (14oz) diced tomato or 2 large tomatoes, chopped

1 tsp salt

fresh ground black pepper, to taste

1 orange, washed, but unpeeled, whole or halved

1 cup red wine (optional)

vegetable or chicken stock, as needed

1 Tbs vinegar (omit if using wine)

Heat a large heavy pot or pressure cooker over medium heat, add oil and saute onion and peppers until onion begins to color, add garlic and saute 1-2 minutes more.  Add paprika, coriander and cumin to saute.  Stir for about 1 minute and then add tomato,(salsa verde and hot sauce), soaked and rinsed beans, wine or vinegar, and orange.  Add enough stock to cover mixture by 1 inch of liquid.

Pressure cooker:  Place lid on cooker and heat until 15 lb pressure is reached and cook for 25 minutes.  Reduce pressure completely before opening cooker.  Remove orange.  Use your potato masher and mash some of the beans to thicken the soup.  Serve with a sharp cheese and good bread (We eat it with my pumpkin corn bread). Enjoy!

Heavy stock pot:  Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 2-3 hours, until beans are tender, add additional stock if needed. When beans are tender, remove orange.  Use your potato masher and mash some of the beans to thicken the soup.   Serve with a sharp cheese and good bread (We eat it with my pumpkin corn bread). Enjoy!

4 thoughts on “Sopa Feijoada (Tangy Black Bean Soup)

  1. Pingback: Pumpkin(2) Cornbread | good food not much time

  2. I am going on 80. I used to make the original from Diet for a Small Planet. My book was lost in a house fire in 82. I bought a copy of the book but it did not include the soup recipe. This is close but I do not remember the salsa. Is this a version of the original or the original. If not, How can I get the original recipe.

    • You will find the original recipe under “Brazilian Evening”. Lappe’s idea of an index leaves much to be desired. The original is not a soup, but is served with rice and a green chili sauce. I added the salsa verde so that flavor from the “meal” is there. I prefer this meal as my soup.

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