Adobo Black Bean Soup

January 20th, 2016 6 Comments



This was another hearty soup from the deli days.  The cinnamon and clove really help build the layers of flavor, not to mention they smell heavenly while simmering.  The ingredients and flavors are of a Mexican móle or adobo with the cocoa, oregano and clove.  We used to call it a Mexican Black Bean Soup but I’ll change it to Adobo to be a little more specific.  The cumin-coriander dynamic duo mixes well with cloves and cinnamon, it’s that blurring of sweet and savory spice boundaries that I so love.


Some traditional Mexican black bean soups include Huitlacoche in the pot.  This Aztec delicacy was a nightmare for us kids on the farm when we were tasked with picking sweet corn from the field…you never knew when this would be the terrifying surprise beneath the husks.  I’m sure it is delicious and nutritious…just please please don’t make me harvest it.  


Here is a great link to Mexican Cooking Terms in case you might need such a resource.

And Ramblecrunch lists their 8 favorite Mexican cooking blogs.




I froze some of this soup to bring on the trip North for a tasty lunch.  We add cooked ground beef or bison to the mix for a protein boost before heading out into the chill of the afternoon.


Speaking of heading out….the Olympic Packing Time Trials were heavily underway this week!

Speed, however, is not the main criteria in Olympic Packing.  This operation can take days.  The majority of points are awarded for: Creativity in Space Management, Accessibility to items needed during the trip, Efficiency in Use of Space, Heaviest Weight over the rear axles, Delicate Items on top and not crushed, Don’t Forget Anything, Fruit packed so it doesn’t freeze, and my favorite is Fit the Kitchen Sink.  And finally, leaving remotely near the Estimated Time of Departure goal means extra points.




This was not one of my more elegant packing jobs.  Somehow each year we bring more, much of it food—you can see the grapefruit box and the Jardale squash crammed in with a crowbar!  Rusty spots on the ole’ 4runner, but new Finnish Nokian tires to carry us safely around the snowy terrain.




For those of you who are new to our annual event, every January Scott and I turn our ski tips and 20-year-old 4Runner northward for our trek to the Northwoods of the Upper Midwest.  This is not the season for catering or landscaping, this is the season to play in the snow so we stay in shape for all that summer work.  It is a time to be outside as much as possible, a time to sleep, to cook, eat, and of course…sauna.  It’s a time to rejuvenate and to try to not get my butt kicked too badly by cross country skiing.


Today we’re into the Unpack and Sort phase of the marathon and have begun waxing and re-packing for the 8-night stay in a rustic ski-in cabin of ABR near Ironwood, MI.  No rest for the wicked.





It feels good finally be to in place where we can say our wishes for snowfall aloud and not have rocks and rotten apples thrown at us…as of Monday night we’re now surrounded by people who want the fluffy white cold stuff as much as we do!




Adobo Black Bean Soup

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour (not including cooking the beans)


Sauté lightly in a soup pot:

3/4 cup Carrots, diced

1 Onion, diced

3-4 stalks Celery, diced

2 cups Corn—fresh off the cob is great, frozen is the next best

Oil of your choice

After a few minutes add:

4 cups Water or Vegetable Stock

4 cups cooked Black Beans

1 cup Tomatoes, diced

1 Chipotle Pepper Adobo Sauce, minced

1 teaspoon Adobo Sauce

2 teaspoons Oregano, dried

2 teaspoons Cocoa Powder (unsweetened)

1 1/2 teaspoons Granulated Garlic or 3 cloves Garlic, minced

1 teaspoon Cumin, ground

1 teaspoon Coriander, ground

1 – 2 teaspoons Sea Salt (this may vary depending on the saltiness of the beans)

1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon, ground

scant 1/4 teaspoon Cloves, ground

Black Pepper

Simmer 45-60 minutes. 

Turn off heat and add:

1 1/2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice

1 Roasted Red Pepper, diced

Let sit at least 30 minutes.

Taste and adjust, especially the salt and water amounts.  

Bean soups like this are almost better the second day and they freeze well. 


Serve warm by itself or with any of these:


Fresh Lime

Corn Tortillas

Avocado Slices

Queso Fresco

Beef or Chicken cooked with salt and lime

Andouille or Chorizo Sausage

Toasted Pepitas




Great spoon, eh?

I don’t know how it ended up in our arsenal of flatware, so if you’ve eaten with us in the last year and are missing this spoon…well, you know how to get ahold of me.

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  1. Alice says:

    Yum! Have a great trip, Ruth and Scott!

  2. Jean says:

    Yum! Yum! I think I will make it for my birthday and retirement (REFIREMENT!) celebration down here in Austin. Safe travels Ruth & Scott!

  3. Britney says:

    Delicious! Enjoy your ski trip!!

  4. Betsy Hilgendorf says:

    Hey, that’s my spoon! Er, maybe not. Thanks for the yummy sounding recipe!

  5. Ruth says:

    Thanks for all of the well wishing! We just got 10 inches of snow so all is very well.

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