I was at a Venezuelan restaurant recently and I ordered the black bean and chorizo soup, since I always enjoy a tasty bean soup. I was expecting to get a more Mexican style spicy soup but to my surprise the first bite was slightly sweet with hints of molasses and that took me back for a second. Then I took a second bite, this one including a piece of the spicy cured chorizo sausage, and I was amazed at how well the combination of the slightly sweet black bean soup worked with the spicy chorizo sausage! Of course I knew that I would have to try making the soup at home! :)
The recipe pretty much wrote itself, being a standard black bean and chorizo soup with the addition of molasses and a bit of brown sugar to sweeten it; I know that there is a special kind of sugar that is traditionally used but since I could not find it here I made some simple substitutions. The resulting homemade version was phenomenal! I am still a little surprised at how well the slightly sweet and spicy combo works so well in a black bean soup like this but this is definitely my new favourite soup!
This soup is amazing all by itself but some cool and creamy avocado makes an excellent addition!
As does some freshly made arepa!
Venezuelan Black Bean and Chorizo Soup
A Venezuelan style black bean soup where the slightly sweet soup is perfectly complemented by the spicy chorizo sausage!
- 1 pound dried black beans (about 2 cups), picked over, rinsed, soaked water overnight and drained
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1/2 pound (cured as opposed to fresh) chorizo sausage
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 7 cups ham broth or chicken broth or chicken stock or water
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons lime juice (~1 lime)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the oil in a large sauce pan over medium-high heat, add the sausage and cook until lightly golden brown, about 10 minutes, and set aside.
- Add the onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
- Add the pepper and cook until just tender, about 3 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cumin and cook until fragrant, about a minute.
- Add the broth, beans, sausage, molasses and brown sugar, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the beans are tender, about 45 minutes.
- Add the lime juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Slow Cooker: Optionally implement steps 1-4, place everything but the lime juice in the slow cooker and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 2-4 hours.
Note: I like to use ham broth for this to add flavour but you could also use chicken broth and throw in a ham bone or ham hock or just use chicken broth.
Option: For a really quick version, use 2-3 cans of black beans and skip the soak time and you only need to simmer for 10-20 minutes in step 5!
Option: Add chipotle chili powder for some smoky heat.