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black bean soup with fresh corn and bacon salsa

This versatile, but simple black bean soup is easy to make from pantry ingredients and is filled out with a shredded rotisserie chicken breast or a leftover piece of chopped cooked salmon. It’s also perfectly happy with just the bacon or no meat at all. Don’t skip the salsa whatever you do. If your chili powder is hot, you might want to skip the crushed red pepper, depending on how spicy you’d like your soup to be.



  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 pieces thick-cut bacon cut into ½-inch pieces (half will go back into soup later; half will go into the salsa)
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 2 each: peeled medium carrots and stalks of celery cut into small dice
  • ½ sweet red bell pepper, cut into small dice
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • Crushed red pepper optional
  • 1 teaspoon each: dried oregano and chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ cup white whine
  • 1 quart low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 15-oz cans drained and rinsed black beans or 4 cups cooked black beans
  • 1 small zucchini or yellow squash cut into small dice
  • 1 Chicken breast, cooked and shredded or 3 oz salmon fillet, cooked, bones and skin removed, and chopped
  • ½ cup Sour cream for garnish, optional


  • 2 ears cooked corn, kernels cut off (about a cup)
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced--both white and green parts
  • 1/2 Jalapeno pepper, minced, membranes and seeds removed
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Medium ripe, but firm tomato, cut into small dice
  • Juice of half lime
  • You’ll add back ½ of the cooked bacon above, chopped finely


  • Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a 5-6 quart heavy pot; add bacon and cook until just barely crispy. Remove bacon to a bowl and reserve, leaving the fat behind in the pot. Add onions, carrots, celery, and red pepper; season with ½ teaspoon kosher salt, ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, and a pinch of crushed red pepper, if using, and stir. Sprinkle with oregano, chili powder, and cumin. Cook, stirring regularly for about 10 minutes or until vegetables are softened, adding garlic for the last minute or two.
  • Pour in wine and let simmer until wine is reduced by half. Add broth and water; bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Stir in beans and zucchini; season with another ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Let simmer 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasonings. Remove 2 cups of the soup and puree them in a food processor or mash them in a medium bowl with a potato masher. Return the pureed/mashed soup to pot and add half of the reserved bacon along with the cooked chicken or salmon. Heat through, then taste and adjust seasonings again as, needed.
  • MAKE THE SALSA: Chop the other half of the reserved bacon into small pieces and stir that into the rest of the salsa ingredients. 
  • Ladle soup into bowls and garnish each with about two tablespoons of the Corn-Bacon Salsa. Serve hot, garnished with a small dollop of sour cream, if desired


Copyright Alyce Morgan, 2019. All rights reserved.