Friday, January 21, 2011

Tomato & Black Bean Chicken Soup

As promised, I made a hearty tomato-chicken soup with black beans the other night, and it's great to be eating hearty and healthy again after Subway sandwiches and TV dinners.

I thought it was time to share it, as it's really filling and warms you to the core on a cold winter day. Also packed with lots of veggies, especially tomato, and the black beans add to the hearty taste, texture and appearance.

Start by putting 1 pound of black beans in a 3 qt sauce pan along with 7 cups of water and some garlic powder, a clove, or to taste. I don't add any salt, as I have to watch mine, and salt isn't necessary here, as it is in reducing the other vegetables. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 1 hour. The simmering beans will be poured into the soup last.

Chop 4 white or yellow onions, salting lightly as you set aside in large mixing bowls. The salt is needed here to draw the moisture out of the veggies. Salting each layer as you go puts the salt where it's needed most.

Chop 3 bell peppers and quarter 2-3 fresh tomatoes, salting lightly and placing in large mixing bowl. (If I had a juicer, I'd love to try adding a few cups of fresh celery juice)

In a large stock pot, or large heavy (cast iron) frying pan, lightly saute the chopped onions in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Set aside on very lowest heat.

Pre-heat oven to 250 degrees.

In your largest, heaviest stock pot (mine is 15 quarts) heat 4 tablespoons olive oil until smoking hot. Sprinkle coarse sea salt over bottom of pan to keep chicken from sticking. Place 4-5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts carefully into the searing hot oil using tongs. Cook 3 minutes on each side.

Leaving the heat on high, add chopped red bell peppers, and sectioned tomatoes. Stir lightly to break chicken breasts free, adding 1 quart of V-8 juice. Bring to boil again and add sauteed onions from stock pot. Bring to boil again. Add 2nd quart of V-8 juice and 1-2 tablespoons of crushed red peppers.

Add 2 cans diced tomatoes, 1 large can tomato sauce, and one small can of tomato paste. Stir in beans and then add water as necessary.

Cook at low boil/high simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover with pot screen to allow soup to reduce.

Place uncovered stock pot in oven at 250-275 for 2-4 hours, removing occasionally to see if chicken is ready to shred with fork and tongs. Bake for 1 hour after chicken is shredded. Remove from oven.


  1. 1 lb of dry black beans, well rinsed
  2. 4-5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  3. 3 fresh tomatoes
  4. 3-4 white or yellow onions
  5. 3-4 fresh red bell peppers
  6. 2 quart jug of  V-8 juice
  7. 2 cans diced tomatoes (with jalapenos if possible)
  8. 1 large can of tomato sauce
  9. 1 small can of tomato paste
  10. Crushed red peppers
  11. Garlic powder or cloves
  12. Olive or canola oil
  13. Coarse sea salt
Let cool a bit, and ladle out a serving for a very satisfying meal. Serve with milk, buttered sourdough bread (or a hearty dark bread), and be prepared to break into a sweat. Jalapeno pepper jack cheese is a nice side. With ridiculous amounts of protein, this soup will feed sore muscles just what they need.


Gotta Run..Gotta Ride said...

YUM!!!! Love soaps with black beans. Also love dishes with a good amount of heat. Jalapeno pepper jack cheese...... nice touch!

I can imagine this was way better than a subway sub or frozen dinner :)

Lily on the Road said...

Oh YUMMY!! Sounds perfect, and I'm going to try this recipe (minus the chicken, I'm a veggie). Thanks for sharing.

I've been eating craptastic stuff all week and boy you can really feel it! Back to healthy eating and making my lunches from now on.

Lily on the Road said...

BTW, I just sent this recipe along to a friend of mine in Calgary, Alberta!