At our weekly couples therapy session (which just happened to fall on the day after Christmas.  How opportune.)  My thighs and I had something that can only be characterized as a skirmish.  (Although one might also call it a quarrel, World War III, a debate of apocalyptic proportions…)

At first, I thought it was going to be a pretty low-key session.

We role-played.

We used “I statements”.

We refrained from throwing things.

It was all going very well, really.  Until my thighs issued an ultimatum.

“It’s either us or the rainbow cookies,” they said, in the coldest, least emotionally involved manner possible.

So I looked down at them.  Skeptically.  Ready to scream some platitude along the lines of “it’s not me, it’s you” or “just wait, you’ll be crawling back” (oh the irony).

Then I remembered the ease and rapidity with which my calves up and bit the dust.  (And yes, we are still in physical therapy trying to work through our “issues” and a few seriously large knots.)


And so I caved.

I went home.  Whipped up this black bean soup, thinking it was a good healthy compromise.  But, after eating it, I think “compromise” sounds too…demeaning.  Downright delicious?  That’s more like it.

With a hint of subtle sweetness from the mango juice, a bit of spice from the cayenne, and a truly fabulous texture, this soup is one that I will glad make over and over again.  And when my roommates ask me why I’m drinking it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  I’ll just explain the thigh situation.  They’ll understand.

So while 2010 was the year that I got injured and sunk into a deep dark black hole in which I convinced myself that if I couldn’t run, I might as well eat brownies in monstrously large quantities (bad plan).  2011 is going to be the year in which I make myself look like a rock star again.  They say that whatever you do on the first of the year sets the stage for the 364 days that will ensue.  So join me.  Make this soup.  And let’s make 2011 a year to remember.  In the healthiest possible way.


Brazilian Black Bean Soup
Serves 4-6, adapted from The Tropical Vegan Kitchen

1 cup dry black beans, soaked overnight in cold water
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup vegetable broth
3/4 cup mango juice
1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped
1/2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
1/2 tbsp cider vinegar

1. Drain the beans and place in a medium stockpot with water to cover by 1 inch.  Add the 1/2 tsp salt and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to between low and medium-low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender, about 1 1/2 hours (unless you have weird freaky beans like mine which cook in 30 minutes…I think it’s because I soak them for almost 24 hours).  Set aside and do not drain.

2. In a medium, deep-sided skillet with a lid, heat the oil over medium heat, add the onion, bell pepper, and carrot.  Cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes.  Reduce the heat to low, add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until all the veggies are tender, about 10 minutes.  Add the veggies to the stockpot containing the cooked beans and their liquid.  Add the broth, orange juice, tomato, sugar, cumin, thyme, cloves, cayenne, and black pepper as well.  Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.

3. Remove from heat.  Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth and pureed.  (OPTIONAL – if you want a more chunkier soup, remove about 1/3 of the beans and puree in a blender, then add them back in.)  Return to the pot and stir in the cilantro, cinnamon stick, and bay leaf.  Return to a simmer over medium-high heat.  Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.  Season with additional salt.  Stir in the vinegar.  Discard the cinnamon stick and bay leaf and serve warm.

I am submitting this to REGIONAL RECIPES: BRAZIL as well as to Souper Sundays, which is hosted by Deb of Kahakai Kitchen.


You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at https://joanne-eatswellwithothers.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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104 Responses to Brazilian Black Bean Soup {VEGAN}

  1. I LOVE black bean soup! This looks wonderful and super healthy, thanks!

  2. Lea Ann says:

    I’ve seen recipes for Cuban Black Bean soup and have never tried it. Do believe I need to teach my thighs a good lesson and give it a try.

  3. Ada says:

    That looks like the perfect soup to kick of the New Year! I would never have thought to use mango juice in soup, but it sounds amazing!

  4. there ain’t nothin’ wrong with being injured and using brownies (or other food-related weapons of choice) to self-medicate. it happens to the best of us. for real.

    mango juice in black bean soup? genius. i’ll add this to my “joanne recipes i’ve gotta try” list.

    hope your new year starts off wondrously for both you and your thighs. haha. awkwarrrrrd.

  5. monicajane says:

    no compromise here…LOOKS luxurious!

  6. OohLookBel says:

    Oh, I agree: let’s be rock stars in 2011, with rock-hard thighs to match! Love the look of the soup, so rich and thick (sounds like the ideal husband, heehee!)

  7. jenna laughs says:

    I am curious as to how the mango juice tastes! So interesting and refreshing. I should probably just put this into an IV and inject it in my veins after all the Christmas cookies I’ve eaten lately. You understand.

  8. Amy says:

    No joke. All that work and dedication getting through Insanity…I was in the shape of my life. And then came Halloween…and Thanksgiving…and all that Christmas fudge. I started getting my exercise mojo back last week, so I’m a little ahead of the game.

    A friend of mine sent me a pumpkin black bean soup to try, but hers doesn’t include yummy mango juice. Decisions decisions. Either way, great way to start off the new year.

  9. This looks delicious! It is a good way to deal with my current personal war against my body. Do you use pre-made mango juice or make your own from a mango?

  10. Spices, mango juice and beans! Sounds like a winner of a soup. I’m not very familiar with Brazilian cuisine but I can tell from this recipe that it’s a tanatalizing one.

    Happy New Year, Joanne! May all your wishes come true!

  11. Lyndsey says:

    I like your “vegan” version of the Brazilian black bean soup. It looks fabulous! I love black bean soup any way you make it. Funny about your “weird freaky beans”. I don’t know if you got my entry for Regional Recipes: Brazil, it was my first entry, but I imagine many will enter feijoada.
    I really enjoy your writing, you make me feel like I’m right there with you. My husband hurt his knee in a jet ski race and it took him a long time to recover enough to run again. He went through some rough times until he did…he felt down not running.

    Happy New Year!

  12. I just read your post and immediately dragged myself away from my computer to go soak a cup of black beans for tonight’s dinner. I’m not sure if it was the beautiful pictures or the entertaining writing that did it, but I love the sound of this recipe and I am even going to go so far as to brave the cold to get a container of mango juice. This sounds SO nourishing. I’m going to serve it with a bit of yogurt as a garnish. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

  13. polwig says:

    I am on a bean kick lately, definately making this maybe even this year. Joining you this year in becoming rock starts together, lets motivate each other

  14. Victoria says:

    I think my thighs and your thighs were probably friends in another life because this sounds all so familiar to me 🙂 This soup looks fantastic! I would never think to add mango juice to black bean soup, but I bet it’s awesome. I think perhaps next week when I’m back in NY (and sadly out of my parents kitchen/pantry) I will try this out 🙂 Happy New Year! We’ll have to get together sooooooon!!

  15. Julia says:

    Yum, yours looks so much better than my quick version I made yesterday. Yum, I never thought to add yum mango juice.
    Happy NY!!

  16. Sarah S. says:

    You mean business! So does this soup. Mango juice?! I love this.

  17. We should never compromise eh? This looks downright delicious indeed 😉

  18. Eden says:

    couples therapy? Good idea! Ha, I think I need it for my roommate and I too!
    I am a personal chef for this family that loves bean soups so I’m SO making this for them!

  19. Cate says:

    This soup sounds amazing, and I’m really picky when it comes to black bean soup!

  20. Marcia says:

    Man, I love love love black bean soup. I have a good recipe for Brazilian fejoida (but also vegan) that is delicious.

    With the mango juice though, this definitely looks like a recipe worth trying – a nice little twist on my regular black beans.

  21. Shanon says:

    i LOVE making beans from dry. makes such a difference. looks wonderful!

  22. Kelsey says:

    thank god this isnt watery. i bet uve seen those thin liquid versions of black bean soups. i love mine thick, just like chili, just like this!! <3

  23. Swathi says:

    This vegan version of black bean soup all the goodness. I like the sweetness of mango juice and rest of spices. Love it sure going to try them.

  24. Simply Life says:

    this looks great but I must say after all your delicious and hilarious posts this year, I’d defintiely count 2010 as a big success!

  25. That Girl says:

    I love the idea of using mango juice in the soup!

  26. Mango juice in black bean soup? What an inspired idea. I’ve definitely been slacking on the staying in shape and eating healthy end. I’m totally with you, especially if this soup’s involved.

  27. aipi says:

    This looks wonderful! So hearty and comforting. I would like to curl up with a big bowl full on a cool night!
    Season’s greetings and best wishes for a happy new year dear Joanne 🙂

    US Masala

  28. Mary says:

    I would certainly enjoy a bowl of this. It has the appearance of patent leather. It looks wonderful. I hope you have a wonderful day. Blessings…Mary

  29. My thighs (and other parts) and I have had the same conversation. 🙂 This soup looks wonderful and I just happen to have soaked black beans last night for soup today. (Talk about serendipity!) I just need some mango juice and we’re good to go. 🙂 Wishing you all the best in 2011!

  30. Pam says:

    This looks yummy, though I have hard time making black bean soup without a ham hock hovering nearby.

  31. teresa says:

    oh my goodness, so creamy and full of flavor, you wouldn’t even know you were eating something so healthy. i’m with you on a healthier new year, my thighs aren’t exactly thrilled with me either!

  32. elra says:

    Wonderful meal to have after all of those delicious and rich celebration food we have for the past two weeks 🙂

  33. Debinhawaii says:

    I love The Tropical Vegan Kitchen and have had this soup recipe tagged to make. It looks delicious. Black bean soup is so satisfying. 😉
    Thanks for sharing it with Souper Sundays.

  34. nico. says:

    ooh, the flavors of this sound amazing! I think my boyfriend would also love this if I just call it chili …

  35. well, I worry about the mango influence, but i can’t deny that those pictures are flooring me. Nicely done. Have a great new year!

  36. Nicole, RD says:

    Consider it done…on both accounts! Health/weight and that soup! 🙂

  37. Lori says:

    This soup sounds incredible. Seriously. I’d take it (with the cookies) any day!

    I love your intro’s by the way- so clever and fun. 🙂

  38. It’s the same argument my waistline and I have been having for the past month!

    I’m going to be making lots of soup in the next several weeks and this one sounds delicious!

  39. A bowl full of beauty! I will join you in eating healthy on Jan 1 for sure! I love this recipe – looks perfect!

  40. I am all for making 2011 a healthy year. Burst out the recipe blogs!!!!! Have a fantastic New Years Joanne and see you in 2011.

  41. This looks crazy good..My husband will love this soup like anything.I hope u are braving the cold with such bowls one after the other!

  42. augh therapy… we skipped ours this week! wishing you and your husband a happy 2011, cheers to looking like a rock star.

  43. Such a soul warming soup! I can’t wait for our winter to try it.

  44. Lori says:

    Best wishes for a wonderful 2011! Vegetarian feijoada is my favorite kind. I love the mango juice in this one, a very nice twist.

  45. Katerina says:

    I wish to you 2011 to be a better year for you. Let’s hope that your white knight will appear during nest year as well. This soup is perfect for the bad weather you have over there.

  46. How I love black beans. I am totally loving this recipe. There is no lack of flavor and punch to this one. There’s love, and no guilt, in this. How I wish I could have some with you.
    Happy New Year!

  47. Rachel says:

    What a tasty looking soup! Mange juice sounds like a fun ingredient. I know my thighs would appreciate this soup.
    I think you’re on track to path things up with your thighs in 2011 : )

  48. ann says:

    I like that idea of what you do the first day of the new year sets the tone for the whole year. I’ll have to remember that all day. And maybe that delicious bean soup is a good way to start. Happy New Year, Joanne!

  49. Velva says:

    This is just the kind of soup I need to enjoy to recover from my holiday food hangover. This is a beautiful hearty soup.

    Happy New Year to you Joanne. I hope 2011 is a fabulous year for you.


  50. Carolyn says:

    I think this soup is a most auspicious beginning to your year of looking (and running?) like a rock star again. I am sure you actually already do look like a rock star, but I want you to FEEL like the rock star you are!
    I love black bean soups, this is so going on my to-do list.

  51. Stella says:

    Really beautiful soup, Joanne! This is right up my alley actually. I’m going to bookmark it, as it looks so rich and, yes, delicious:)
    I don’t know if I told you yet, but I hope you have a very happy (and healthy) new year!

  52. Joanne, I ended up making a very modified version of your soup and it was S-C-R-U-M-P-T-I-O-U-S. Thank you. (My plan to make your exact recipe fell apart because a) there was no mango juice to be had, and b) I realized that the recipe called for four ingredients that at least one member of my family won’t go near (cooked peppers, cooked tomatoes, cilantro, and cloves).
    I wanted to thank you and invite you to check it out on my blog! http://www.koshercookingforordinarypeople.com/2010/12/black-bean-soup.html

  53. Kristin says:

    That looks good! I love the mixture of veggies and flavors in it. I would have never thought of adding cider vinegar to it.

  54. Looks awesome. I’ve been looking for something to do with the stock pile of black beans I have in the pantry. Like garbanzos, I never leave Trader Joe’s without ’em… even if I have 5 lbs at home.

  55. pajamachef says:

    so, i’ve tried black bean soup before but haven’t liked it… this may be the soup that changes my opinion! this looks amazing!

  56. tigerfish says:

    Black food is the new superfood!? 🙂

    Happy New Year to you and your family!

  57. I love black bean soup! Never made it vegan though (threw in some ham hock) but I am so tempted by your version with that mango in there. Happy holidays to you and your thighs 🙂

  58. Sanjeeta kk says:

    So creamy and exotic soup! Love the color and texture.

  59. Ruth Daniels says:

    Great post… as usual, a funny story, glorious photos and a very delish looking dish.

    Happy 2011 and may it bring you all you wish – another marathon, a wonderful guy and … well… fill in the blanks.

  60. Chris says:

    I just got back from my paraniod’s meeting. Guess what. Your legs are out to get you.

    I just saw another version of this soup last night and thought about making it but didn’t have the chiles that one called for. This looks so good and I just love me some black beans.

  61. M gonna make this tonight! Yummm…you are right! It seems downright delicious!

  62. Tasha says:

    I think you are right, Joanne- great minds do think alike! I know my much simpler version sure hit the spot, and I can only imagine that with the intriguing addition of mango juice this must’ve been pretty amazing. Wishing a Happy (and Healthier) New Year to you!

  63. Laura says:

    Yumm! I love the idea of mango juice in the soup. I just made black bean soup pumpkin soup last night, but I was lazy and used canned beans!

  64. I’ll try the healthy but I’m not making any promises that I’ll like it. Mango juice and cayenne? This is sounding crazy enough that it just might work.

  65. Miriam says:

    One of my closest friends is from Brazil and when we want to eat together we always have to eat at my house or go out to eat because she is afraid to cook for me (she claims every meal in Brazil has meat in it and she doesn’t know how to cook otherwise). I’m going to send her a link to this recipe :). Happy New Year from Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

  66. Wow, what a picture, i can guess how much delicious this food is..

    Nice Receipe.. I will do it.

    Delicious, You guys are rocking.

    +91 9829061228

    Email [email protected]

  67. Black bean soup with mango juice sounds really interesting. Have a Happy, Healthy New Year Joanne! Thanks for your lovely comment on my blog 🙂

  68. Sophie says:

    A divine & stunning black bean soup!! Looks so tasty!!

    I wish you & your boyfriend a Happy & fun 2011 filled with joy, good health & good food!

    Kisses from Brussels to you!!

  69. La Liz says:

    Joanne, you’ve started a tradition. In a few hours, at the stroke of midnight, megatons of black beans will be soaking overnight, destined for tomorrow’s Black Bean Soup. What a perfect way to start the New Year. Fantastic!

  70. A vegan dish? That’s so unlike you! 😉

    Love a good black bean soup, perfect when you’re in the middle of a blizzard.

    Hope you have a happy and a healthy New Year!

  71. marla says:

    Sounds like this black bean soup is your new best friend. I would have had HUGE issues having your rainbow cookies around. A very good thing that they are in your hands & not mine. This soup on the other hand would be great for any time at all! xo
    Happy New Year!!

  72. Yum. Yum. Yum. I love black bean soup. One of my favorites.

  73. Mo 'Betta says:

    My post-partum thighs and belly have been ganging up on me recently. It’s been almost 3 years…can I still call it “baby fat”? I think not. Sorry about your injury this year, but 2011 is gonna rock 🙂 (practicing my New Year’s resolution of positive thinking!!)

  74. Dawn says:

    This recipe is perfection. I joined Weight Watchers again right before Christmas to try and lose that last 5-7 lbs and so this will do very nicely and help me stay on my roll!
    Have a wonderful New Years. I can’t wait to see what you cook up next year!

  75. janet says:

    This looks SO GOOD, Joanne. I made tasty vegan feijoada earlier, but mango juice!? And cinnamon?! Yum! I have to make this version, too! 😀

  76. Julie says:

    This looks delicious! Can’t wait to give it a try. It will be a welcome change after all of the holiday foods.

    Happy New Year!

  77. Peggy says:

    I haven’t had black bean soup in so long! This reminded me of how much I love it! Definitely looks like a tasty bowl of comfort!

  78. Dana says:

    I don’t make nearly enough black bean soup. Why is that? I love it! But it definitely needs more flavors than just cumin and beans and this looks truly interesting and tasty. Happy New Year Joanne! I’m so glad we got to meet!

  79. girlichef says:

    Yum! My quivering thighs and I will definitely join you in a large bowl of your gorgeous black bean soup 🙂 Happy New Year, my friend!

  80. Johanna GGG says:

    I think my thighs would like me more if I had more of this sort of food but there is just so much other food in our house that I need to deal with (in the nicest way possible)

    warm wishes for the new year joanne – hope it brings you happiness and good health

  81. Happy new year Joanne! I love the sound of this soup 🙂

  82. Monet says:

    Yum. This would be a great way to start of the new year. Healthy AND delicious. I love it how so many nutritious foods also taste amazing. Now if only I could have you bring me a pot of this soup tomorrow. I would provide the bread! Thank you for sharing with me all that you do. I wish you many blessings and much joy in the New Year!

  83. Adam says:

    I love it when food looks like poo.

  84. grace says:

    joanne, you crack me up and that’s all there is to it. this soup rocks–black beans belong in lots of places, with my belly being first and foremost on that list. 🙂

  85. Kevin says:

    I like using beans in soups like this and this soup sounds really tasty!

  86. Reeni says:

    I love, love, love me some black bean soup! My thighs are calling for this right now too! I have to say I love the idea of mango juice – what a delicious twist!

  87. Natalie says:

    mm yes my thighs and butt and waist are all begging for this soup right now! maybe jan 2nd? i have indulgent leftovers to eat still 🙂

  88. Linda says:

    I love soup, all soup, all the time! Can’t wait to try this!! Have you tried it none vegan? Maybe with some chorizo?

  89. This recipe does look super yummy! And I have all the ingredients at my disposal! PERFECT! I will try it asap 🙂

  90. Kevin says:

    What a tasty looking roundup for 2010! I am looking forward to 2011 and more tasty food! 🙂

    Happy new year!

  91. I had no idea you were injured this year – and I am a fairly new reader… from the fall. I am sad to hear about your injury and your therapy. One thing can so easily lead to SO many others – as you so humorously stated. Depression is a fine line away when one’s health suffers. You are resilient, that is clear, but I still know it is hard. Kudos to you. Truly.
    A New Year always brings personal reflection, and holds so much promise for new beginnings! Your description of this dish has me almost panting.
    Happy 2011, Joanne!!!

  92. Judi says:

    I’m not sure how I found your blog but I love it. And, I think you would be great for my son. You’re smart. He’s smart. You’re in a PhD program. He’s in a PhD program. You’re Italian. He’s Italian. You love to cook. He loves to cook (makes his Nana’s sauce), eat (he’s eating Pasta as I secretly type this) and he is a master brewer (pumpkin beer–who knew?)–it’s all an artful science project to him. He would kill me if he even knew I thought these things let alone say these things. So kill me. I love my son.
    Keep cooking!

  93. Shannon says:

    love the addition of mango juice in here! delicious. and i love judi’s comment above 😉

  94. Kerstin says:

    Black bean soup with cumin is one of my very favorites and this version sounds extra special with the mango juice in it -yum!

  95. Mmm, I love black bean soup – the addition of mango juice is inspired!

  96. Cara says:

    Mango juice and cinnamon?! You have just taken black bean soup to the next level. I strive to join you soon.

  97. ceodraiocht says:

    This sounds so fantastic!

    You should consider sharing it further on the Decidedly Healthy or Horridly Decadent Saturday Picture Linky http://ceodraiocht.wordpress.com/decidedly-healthy-or-horridly-decadent-blog-hop.

  98. spoonwithme says:

    This looks soooo good! I’m soaking some beans and making it tonight.

  99. Ooo this soup sounds awesome! I have yet to find a black bean soup that I love and this one looks like it could be it. I’ve been wondering about how that Tropical Vegan Kitchen cookbook was.

  100. janet says:

    This soup is seriously awesome, Joanne. Your modifications were spot on! Bring on the mango and cinnamon love! 🙂

    My post about it is here: http://tastespace.wordpress.com/2011/04/04/brazilian-black-bean-soup/

  101. Liz Thompson says:

    Honey, you may call it Cuban or Puerto Rican Black Bean Soup, but please don’t call it Brazilian Black Bean Soup. A true Brazilian would never commit such sin of throwing cinnamon, mango, cloves, etc. in a black bean soup. Sorry, just the way we are…

    • joanne says:

      Thank you so much for your feedback! I actually don’t know that much about Brazilian cuisine, and certainly can’t claim any authenticity to the recipe! That is what the cookbook I got it from called it, so I just went with it. I appreciate having the knowledge moving forward, though!

  102. Anja says:

    Hi Joanne, I made this soup yesterday. I didn’t have mango juice, but I’ve had a whole mango, so i just tossed cubbed mango in and I don’t use a lot of vinegar so I used lemon juice. I must say, this soup is seriously fantastic. Thanks for the recipe! Now I’m going to see what I can do next, your other recipes look awesome.

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