This Delicious Black Bean Soup is the Best of Guatemala

This Delicious Black Bean Soup is the Best of Guatemala - vegetarian, gluten free, and easy! compassandfork.comThis delicious black bean soup from Guatemala makes an easy starter. Use the blender for a creamy consistency. Discover why Guatemalan food is so healthy!

Guatemalan food flies under the radar when it comes to notable cuisines, but it shouldn’t. Today we feature a delicious black bean soup which shows off the best of Guatemalan soups. This delicious black bean soup goes for a trip into the blender to deliver a creamy and incredibly healthy soup, just perfect for those cold, winter months. If you are looking for healthy foods to make, this Guatemalan soup is a great choice.

We also take a peek at the Guatemalan diet. Many of you probably already eat many of the foods common to Guatemala without even realizing it. Guatemalan black beans are a highlight of diets throughout Central America. And, in a surprise, we discuss the strong connection between the basic foods of the once thriving Mayan culture and the Native American culture in North America. A surprise because of the totally differing growing conditions.

Read on to find out more.

Delicious Black Bean Soup Thanks to The Three Sisters

In another of those amazing “co-incidences”, the Mayan diet centers around corn, squash and beans. And guess what? They were the same 3 foods known as “The three sisters” upon which formed the cornerstone of the Native American diet, prior to the arrival of European/British settlement.

Now just think about this for a moment. Guatemala’s climate is tropical with coastal lowlands, as well as mountainous tracts of land in the highlands. They are totally different conditions to those which North America experiences. And yet the basic diet was the same. Both cultures raised crops.

This Delicious Black Bean Soup is the Best of Guatemala compassandfork.com

The Mayans in Guatemala

Of course, the old Mayan culture was extremely powerful. Transportation and communication were well organized, primarily to maintain control over the populace. Given the totally different climates between North America and Central America, there is little doubt there was contact between these cultures and “The three sisters” basically prove it.

This Delicious Black Bean Soup is the Best of Guatemala compassandfork.comThe Mayans controlled most of Central America. Indeed, when the Spanish finally conquered the Mayans, they were smart enough to realize that Antigua was the epicenter of the Mayan culture. Antigua remained the capital of “Central America”. “Central America” pre-dated all the current countries making up that region.

That’s the end of the history lesson, but the point is that the Mayans were brilliant in their ability to raise crops of corn, squash and beans in a difficult climate and a tough terrain. The Mayan culture may now be gone but we owe them a great debt of gratitude for what they have given the world in terms of food.

Today in Guatemala “The three sisters” are still prevalent. Think Guatemalan black beans, refried beans, corn-based tortillas (so much tastier than wheat and gluten-free I might add), numerous varieties of corn and of course all the different varieties of squash. Guatemalans now supplement these cornerstone ingredients with eggs, tomatoes, chicken, onions, peppers, limes and various herbs such as cilantro. Guatemalans therefore have a great selection of healthy foods to make. You can read more about Guatemalan food here from USA Today.

So, as you would expect, Guatemalan black bean soup is very common throughout Central America. I suppose this is not really a surprise when you consider how inexpensive and healthy these ingredients are. Read on for the recipe for this delicious black bean soup.

This Delicious Black Bean Soup is the Best of Guatemala

Note that I have elected to blend the cooked soup. This delivers a smooth and rather creamy soup. However, it is not mandatory to do so. It’s just as good in its pre-blended state. But Guatemalan restaurants usually serve it in restaurants as creme of black bean soup. And it depends on whether you want a creamy consistency or a more rustic version.

This Delicious Black Bean Soup is the Best of Guatemala compassandfork.comThe garnishes give a big lift to the soup, especially the cilantro (coriander) and the lime. They are key to this dish. This soup also goes well with blue corn tortillas. They’re easy to make and they’re gluten free.

I like to use raw black beans to soak overnight and pre-cook before you attempt to make the soup. Yes, it means being organized, but honestly it takes 30 seconds of effort to soak raw black beans and another 30 seconds to put the soaked beans on to cook. And you will get 5 times as much product versus buying in a can. However, canned beans also work if that is your preference.

I have also linked to another very good black bean soup recipe, we created last year. This one un-blended, for a different option and texture.

This Delicious Black Bean Soup is the Best of Guatemala compassandfork.com
This Delicious Black Bean Soup is the Best of Guatemala
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Don't forget to pre-soak your black beans overnight and then cook them for 45 minutes before you start this soup.
Servings Prep Time Cook Time
4people 20minutes 20minutes
Servings Prep Time
4people 20minutes
Cook Time
20minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Units:
Ingredients
Servings: people
Units:
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the olive oil and then the onion and saute for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to saute for a further 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, red bell pepper, cumin, paprika, salt and black pepper. Stir well to combine all the ingredients. Cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the stock and the cooked black beans. Bring to a boil and then simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Meanwhile prepare the garnish ingredients.This Delicious Black Bean Soup is the Best of Guatemala compassandfork.com
  3. After the soup has been simmering 15 minutes, remove from heat. Transfer the soup in batches to a food processor and blend to a smooth consistency.
  4. Re-heat the blended soup and when simmering turn off the heat and remove the lid. Allow to cool 2 minutes, then stir in the sour cream (or yogurt) and the lime juice.
  5. Serve into bowls and top with the garnish ingredients.

56 Responses

  1. Kristine
    | Reply

    Oh my gosh, this soup sounds incredible! I love black beans, but I’ve never made soup! I can’t wait to try this!

    • Editor
      | Reply

      Thanks Kristine. Black beans are so versatile not to mention that they are healthy, filling and inexpensive.

  2. Lisa | Garlic & Zest
    | Reply

    This is such a great, straightforward recipe! I love black bean soup and don’t make it nearly enough.. I love it because it’s simultaneously healthy and hearty!

    • Editor
      | Reply

      You are right on the money there Lisa. Black bean soup is not only healthy and hearty but also inexpensive to make. I hope you enjoy it.

  3. Quinn Caudill
    | Reply

    I love black bean soup and this sounds wonderful.

    • Editor
      | Reply

      It is certainly easy to make. I hope you enjoy it.

  4. Visiting Guatemala is on my bucket list for its beauty, culture, and cuisine. I thoroughly enjoyed the history lesson here, particularly regarding the Mayans and Antigua! The concept of “the Three Sisters” was a new concept to me. Coincidentally, black bean soup is a favorite go-to in my house (though I almost always make it in the slow-cooker). I have not blended my soup before: your soup looks incredibly creamy, so I will be giving it a try!

    • Editor
      | Reply

      You won’t regret going to Guatemala. Antigua is a highlight. And further afield, Chichicastenango and Lake Atitlan and Tikal are all brilliant visits.

      Quite often, I don’t blend this soup, but blending obviously gives it a creamier and smoother texture and is more appealing to the eye.

  5. Sia | Monsoon Spice
    | Reply

    It was a beautiful read and insight into a new food culture. I am not quite familiar with the food from Guatemala and your post was an eye opener as how familiar I am with the ingredients used in this soup. Loaded with veggies and black beans, I can’t think of any reasons not to try it as I have almost all the ingredients in my pantry and fridge. 🙂

    • Editor
      | Reply

      I really enjoy researching the history of food and whenever we travel to a country we invariably go on a food tour. The guides are a wealth of information and from here we get many of our recipe ideas. It was on one of these tours we found out that Guatemala really is the home of the avocado.

      Who would have thought? This soup is indeed made from everyday ingredients. I hope you enjoy it.

  6. Anne Murphy
    | Reply

    The soup sounds delicious!

    Corn, beans and squash – in different varieties, of course, adapted to the very different climates – are all over the Americas, in every agricultural society. And they are such a wonderful combination!

    Loved your look at Guatemala. My dad went there on business when I was a kid, so introduced me then to marimba music and the beautiful textiles… but not the food.

    • Editor
      | Reply

      You are right on the money about corn, beans and squash. The Incas also were brilliant at developing crops that would survive and thrive at different micro-climates and elevations.

      Sometimes I think modern food could take a leaf out of their book and look at more natural ways to develop new foods.

  7. Monica
    | Reply

    Yum, I’m always looking for new soups, will definitely give this a try!

    • Editor
      | Reply

      Monica, it is delicious and made from everyday ingredients.

  8. Whitney Bond
    | Reply

    Looks healthy, warm and delicious!

    • Editor
      | Reply

      Thanks Whitney. Such an easy and inexpensive meal to make.

  9. Erin
    | Reply

    Love black bean soup, will have to try it prepared like this!

    • Editor
      | Reply

      The creamy taste and smooth consistency, make it a little different.

  10. valmg @ From Val's Kitchen
    | Reply

    I love soup, it’s one of the best things about winter. This sounds like a hearty, comforting soup.

    • Editor
      | Reply

      I love your passion about soup. I feel the same way. Inexpensive, healthy, tasty and filling. What more do you need?

  11. Tracy Iseminger
    | Reply

    I LOVE black bean soup! I’d love to try this recipe to get an authentic taste of Guatemala! BTW… your photos are beautiful 🙂

    • Editor
      | Reply

      Thanks so much for your comments on the photos. Guatemala is such a photogenic place, full of good food and fabulous Mayan colors.

  12. Pam
    | Reply

    My friend from Guatemala makes something similar to this and I love it! I need to try this recipe at home.

    • Editor
      | Reply

      It’s also very easy to make as I am sure your friend would attest.

  13. [email protected]
    | Reply

    This soup sounds delicious. I always have black beans on hand but never used them in soup. I think I need to try this. Interesting read about the three sisters..I eat corn, squash, and beans fairly often so could definitely be on board.

    • Editor
      | Reply

      Yes and the 3 sisters are so enjoyable to eat! I really do enjoy black beans, not just in this soup but also great in a salad.

  14. Dene' V. Alexander
    | Reply

    Your pictures of Guatemala are absolutely gorgeous!! The fabulous recipe make this post even better!!

    • Editor
      | Reply

      Thank you so much Dene. We really enjoyed our time in Guatemala, and so photogenic. The food was also most enjoyable.

  15. Christine McMichael
    | Reply

    Black beans are EVERYTHING! Love black bean soup. I’ll definitely need to try this recipe!

    • Editor
      | Reply

      Black beans can be used in so many different dishes. And you have to love that color. It brings such attitude to the dish!

  16. Tanya
    | Reply

    I love black beans (but hubby is allergic). I would love to create this recipe. Maybe I’ll make it one day when he’s away. More for me 🙂

    • Editor
      | Reply

      So sorry for you Tania. My wife is gluten-free so I understand your pain.

  17. This black bean soup looks wonderful! And I think I have all the ingredients in my kitchen already!

    • Editor
      | Reply

      That is exactly what I love about black bean soup. Made from everyday ingredients and just full of flavor.

  18. Veena Azmanov
    | Reply

    I love black bean soup. I often make mine in a slow cooker. I love that you added cumin to it. I usually don.t…. I bet it tasted yum…

    • Editor
      | Reply

      Thanks Veena! I do enjoy the cumin and I have also made it in the slow cooker but I was looking for a quicker version this time.

  19. Priya Srinivasan
    | Reply

    Beautiful ingredients and a delicious soup!!!

    • Editor
      | Reply

      A good summary. Also full of inexpensive but tasty ingredients.

  20. Byron Thomas
    | Reply

    I have been craving black bean soup for some time now. I saw someone making a bit pot of it on the food network a few weeks back and it’s been in my mind since then. I’ve never had black bean soup, but we eat a lot of black beans in our home. I can’t wait to try this. It looks so delicious!

    • Editor
      | Reply

      I’ve noticed you enjoy lentils Byron, so this should be right up your alley. Blending it is optional, but does give it a smooth and creamy texture. I hope you enjoy it.

  21. Anvita
    | Reply

    I have all these ingredients in my pantry right now. Soups are turning our to be a great idea for dinner these days when the weather is cool and you want to enjoy something warm and light.Looks delish

    • Editor
      | Reply

      Yes I love how this soup is made with food staples and so easy to make. We also make a batch of soup on the weekend after we have shopped and the veggies are still nice and fresh for eating later in the week. Makes things nice and easy during the week.

  22. For some reason, I don’t like my soup completely smooth — I like a bit of texture. We love black bean soup. There was a famous restaurant in Indy that featured black bean soup — it was their specialty. I believe they laced the soup with a touch of alcohol. I’ll have to make your bean soup and see if it tastes like I remember.

    • Editor
      | Reply

      Thanks Marisa. We also enjoy the un-blended version of this soup. I think you might be onto something there with the addition of the alcohol. It is what I love about cooking. Starting with a basic recipe and tweaking it with a different ingredient or method. Thanks for your comment.

  23. Your pictures from Guatemala are beautiful! I love the sound of this black bean soup – also seems like a perfect candidate for either slow or pressure cooking.

    • Editor
      | Reply

      Hi Julie, appreciate the comments on the Guatemalan photographs. Your right about the slow cooker or pressure cooker. Either would work with this recipe.

  24. Sasha @ Eat Love Eat
    | Reply

    This soup looks delicious! Yum!

    • Editor
      | Reply

      And easy to make. Thanks.

  25. Just Jo
    | Reply

    I’ve been to Mexico and saw the Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza but that’s as close to Guatemala as I’ve gotten! I love black beans and as I have an Instant Pot, I can cook them super speedily now. I will definitely be giving this a go – it looks wonderful 😀

    • Editor
      | Reply

      Thanks Jo. I haven’t been to Chichen Itza, but I have seen Mayan ruins in Tikal and also Copan, in Honduras. I am in awe of the Mayans. As for the soup, so hearty for winter and easy to make.

  26. Hanady | Recipe Nomad
    | Reply

    Black bean soup sounds perfect for a cold day like today! And your pictures of Guatemala are breathtaking! What a beautiful country!

    • Editor
      | Reply

      Thank you so much. We really enjoyed Guatemala, such an underrated country with excellent food. I do enjoy the Black Bean Soup, so filling and good for you.

  27. Jennifer A Stewart
    | Reply

    I love black bean soup! My Cuban uncle always made black beans and rice every year and it was always the best. I could eat it all the time! Thank you for the cultural insight into Guatemala. So interesting!

    • Editor
      | Reply

      Thanks Jennifer. We do have family in Guatemala so maybe I am a bit biased but we really enjoy traveling there and enjoying all the wonderful food. I love the beans – black beans, refried beans, fresh tortillas. I could go on.

  28. Sandhya Ramakrishnan
    | Reply

    Black bean is one of my favorite bean and I will eat it any dish. Loved to read up on the Guatemala culture and these are some of the places I want to visit in my lifetime. The soup looks delicious and is something I would love to make.

    • Editor
      | Reply

      I am sure you will enjoy visiting Guatemala, Sandhya. Lovely and green and full of interesting culture and lots of Historical, Mayan sights.

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