Spring Beer

Simple Black Bean Soup With An IPA

After a long day at work, isn’t it nice to come home to a simple meal and a nice drink. If you’re like me, then you want to relax when you get home from work. Well, why not try this simple black bean soup recipe? Pair it with a fresh IPA like Medusa from the Defiant Brewing Company and you’ve got the fresh taste of a warm spring evening.

The Beer:

At first glance, the bottle looks like a cool piece of art work. Stare at it too long and you might find your self getting sucked in, you might even turn to stone. Just kidding, but the first thing I did notice on this bottle was the art work. This beer isn’t nearly as deadly as it seems, but it does have a presence.

It’s described as “monstrous” and has “a frightening amount of hops from three countries: America, England, and Germany”. There’s also a warning to “refrain from staring directly into the glass”.

27 March 2016 006The Style: India Pale Ale with 6.8% alc./vol.

Taste and Body: It packs a punch of bitter hops on the first sip. It smooths out afterwards with some citrus and smokey flavors. It’s great for a warm spring day.

Color: Light Amber

Aroma: Oh my the hops!

Level of Recommendation: Monstrously good after a hectic day. I typically prefer beers my beers with subtle notes of hops. This beer, much like it’s namesake, is anything but subtle.

The Food:

I’m going to be totally honest here, I have no clue where I found this recipe. I found a recipe one day while I was trying to figure out what to do with a ton of black beans that I had in my pantry. Since then, I’ve made a few changes, a tweak here or there, and tried a few different ideas. The basis for this soup is very simple: black beans, chicken broth, and water. Everything else is really up to you.

What you’ll need: 27 March 2016 002

  • A can of black beans
  • A cup of chicken broth (or veggie broth is you want this vegetarian)
  • A cup of water
  • A half an onion
  • Some oil (canola or olive oil are your best bets)
  • 1 -2 cloves of garlic
  • Cumin – to taste
  • Cayenne pepper – to taste
  • Oregano – to taste


Optional toppings:

  • Avocado
  • Sour cream
  • Tomatoes
  • Red, green, or yellow peppers

Rinse off your black beans and put them in a sauce pan with the cup of chicken broth and cup of water. Bring to a boil so the beans get nice and soft.

While the beans and broth are boiling, chop the onion and saute with some garlic until the onion becomes translucent.

Now here’s where you have two options.

Option 1: Once the beans and broth are boiled, take them off the heat and let them cool for a few moments. Get out a food processor, add about half of the beans and broth to the food processor and mix until the beans are nice and mashed. Place back in the pan with the rest of the soup and bring the soup to a low simmer.

Option 2: If you don’t have a food processor (or don’t feel like getting one out), it’s still possible to thicken the soup. Get out a large slotted spoon and a fork. Scoop out some beans and mash them with the fork. Continue to do this until the soup gets cloudy and starts to thicken. Turn down the heat and start simmering.

Now, add in the onions, extra garlic (if you so choose), the cumin, cayenne pepper, and oregano. Salt and pepper can be added if you so choose.

Let simmer for 20 minutes and stir occasionally.

Once the soup is done simmering, take it off the stove, place into a bowl, add toppings if you so choose and dig in!

The Pairing:

27 March 2016 008Medusa and black beans should pair up more often. The spiciness of the soup compliments the hops of the beer. They are both light with just the right amount of punch. I recommend adding in a little bit of sour cream or avocado if you want a smoother flavor. The soup has just the right amount of richness to balance out the citrus hops. I enjoy this pairing and look forward to more warm spring nights with these too.

Level of Recommendation: It’s wicked good.


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