Otherwise Known as Sopa Tarasca, it’s Black Bean Tomato Soup with Bacon!
Have you ever heard of Sopa Tarasca? Do you cook your own black beans from dried beans? Do you like bacon? Silly question! Everyone likes BACON right? I’ve been quiet over the holidays and I’m sorry, but I think everyone will forgive me once they try this recipe for Baconny Black Bean Tomato Soup!
If you haven’t made your own black beans from dried beans, I suggest you give it a try! I’m posting a quick recipe for instant pot dried black beans below, and you can find the Sopa Tarasca recipe to use up the bean stock/juice at the end of this post. You can totally use canned black beans to make the Sopa Tarasca, but homemade beans will put any canned black beans to SHAME! If you are using canned beans, skip to the bottom of the post to make the Sopa. I estimate it will take about four cans of black beans to get enough bean broth for the Sopa.
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I had just finished making a pot of black beans in the Instant Pot and was thinking ways to use them when I realized all that juice or broth was going to go down the drain. That is unless I thought of something new to use it in! (Honestly, I was trying to think up a recipe so I could use my new vintage ovenware bowls!) After I scooped out most of the black beans I had a few cups of leftover juice. I knew it would make wonderful soup, but I’ve had SO much black bean soup lately that I wanted to find something different. I Googled “What to do with leftover bean juice” and found this gem from the Pioneering the Simple Life blog! My recipe is completely inspired by this recipe from Pioneering the Simple Life! I modified it slightly.
To make Black Bean Tomato Soup you’ll need to make the beans first!
If you don’t have an Instant Pot (IP), and you have a family of four or more, I recommend getting the 8 quart one. Though there are only two of us at home, the 6 quart IP gets a little crowded sometimes, especially when making stock. I may have to upgrade this year!
Black Beans (in the Instant Pot)
You can use any black bean recipe you want, but here is how I make them so that they aren’t too spiced up for multiple uses.
I soak my beans overnight with a tiny pinch of baking soda, as I do (explained here in my Garbanzo Bean/Greek Chickpea Soup with Olive Oil, Lemon & Oregano post)… It’s completely optional, but I THINK it makes beans a little more friendly for our tummies. Then I drain & rinse the soaked beans and add them to the Instant Pot along with just a few spices. Soaking the beans seems to make them a little more soft and likely to break up, so if you want a firmer bean, don’t soak them! I don’t add a lot to these beans because I’m going to use them for multiple meals. I don’t add diced onions or carrots or because I just want to have strained beans.
To your Instant Pot insert, add:
- 1 lb (dried/uncooked) soaked and rinsed black beans (I like Goya.)
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tbsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 large clove of minced garlic
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cups of stock. I used 2 cups of hambone stock leftover from the holiday ham! You can use any stock or broth, or just water.
- 2 cups water (*if using UNSOAKED beans, add an additional 2 cups of water or four total cups)
- (optional ingredients, minced onion or garlic, parsley, cilantro
I put the lid on and set it to sealing position, and pressure cooked on high power for 12 minutes for my soaked beans. When the timer went off, I allowed them to sit for 10 minutes then released the remaining pressure. (For un-soaked beans, cook on high pressure for 25 minutes, allow to sit for 5 minutes after the timer goes off, then release the pressure.)
Carefully ladle out the beans or strain the broth into another pan. Freeze or use most of the black beans however you want! I rinsed mine and froze for use in enchiladas, tacos or rice!
You can freeze the broth and beans separately and make the sopa later, or make it right after the beans. Just be sure to clean out the pot before cooking the tomato puree.
For the Sopa Tarasca – Black Bean Tomato Soup
Save about a cup of beans, more or less, to give the soup some texture. You’ll note that the recipe calls for 4, yes 4 tablespoons of bacon fat leftover from cooking the bacon. I promise it’s necessary for the unique flavor of this rich soup, and it will NOT be greasy or oily after it’s cooked!
When I served this right after cooking, it was very flavorful. It tends to lose a bit of the bacony flavor after sitting in the refrigerator overnight. Next time I might make some extra bacon for the topping, or try increasing to 5 tbsp bacon fat. You’ll notice there isn’t bacon topping the Sopa pictured. Someone ate ours before it made it to garnish!
Now that you have some black beans and broth, it’s time for Sopa!
Sopa Tarasca (Black Bean & Tomato Soup, with Bacon!)
- blender or food processor recommended
- Dutch oven or heavy bottomed large (4-6 qt) pot OR
- 4 slices bacon Uncooked, not the extra thin bacon, you'll need about 4 tbsp of bacon fat after cooking it
- 4 tbsp bacon fat (From the cooked bacon)
- 2 cups diced tomatoes Or any can of diced or stewed tomatoes. At least 12-16 oz recommended. I always use either San Marzanos or these Fire Roasted tomatoes.
- 1 garlic clove 1 large or 2 small.
- ½ red onion Chopped, or yellow/sweet onion will work fine.
- 2 tbsp tomato paste I like San Marzano or Cento tomato paste.
- 2 cups chicken broth About 2 cups (home made is the best!) you could use ham stock/broth, or just water if necessary.
- 1 tbsp turmeric Optional
- 3 cups black bean broth A little more or less is fine. If you are using canned beans, I recommend reserving some beans and pureeing the rest with the juice. Save some whole beans to add later for texture. I estimate it will take 3 cans of beans to get enough broth.
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup black beans Cooked, optional, but I liked having some whole beans for texture.)
- ¼ cup cilantro Optional, chopped.
- salt and pepper To taste.
- Cook the bacon until crisp in your soup or Instant Pot. ***Leave the bacon fat in the pot. You should have about 4 tbsp. Set the cooked bacon aside for garnish.
- Puree the tomatoes, onion and garlic in the blender or food processor, or smash it up really well!
- To the hot bacon fat, add the tomato paste and the pureed tomato mixture. Cook over medium high heat and stir constantly until cooked thoroughly. It should be thick and a brick color and the onion cooked thoroughly.
- Stir in at least 3 cups of black bean juice (reserved from cooking dried beans, or from canned beans that you have pureed)
- Stir in turmeric.
- Stir in the broth, water and black beans.
- Continue stirring occasionally and simmer for about 10 minutes or until it's thickened slightly. Adjust for salt and pepper if needed.
- Serve immediately with bacon crumbled on top. I recommend garnishing with cilantro, red pepper flakes and sour cream!