Friday, October 2, 2020

Hemingway Black Bean Soup

Sometimes you just need a big pot of comfort beans. 

When I wrote the review of Key Lime Crime by Lucy Burdette in August, I was transported back to the single day I spent in Key West while on a cruise in 2016. Those 6 hours were enough for me to fall in love with the town’s unique and beautiful spirit. 

I loved the houses with sleeping porches to beat the nighttime heat. I loved all the people traveling on bikes and scooters.

I even decided the chickens roaming everywhere were cute!

My favorite stop was the Hemingway Home. No big surprise a writer would be intrigued by the home of such a famous and infamous author like Ernest Hemingway. 

still dream of one day having a writing studio inspired by his. Also, as a cat person who is absent from feline friends thanks to rental agreements, I had to pet each one of the purring polydactyl (six-toed) creatures I met.

In the gift shop, I picked up a copy of The Hemingway Cookbook by Craig Boreth. It’s a lovely cookbook full of stories and photos of Ernest Hemingway and the key people and places in his life. Plus, there are plenty of recipes for some of his favorite meals.

I tested out this one for black bean soup. My only changes from the original were to use chicken broth instead of just water and utilizing my slow cooker instead of the stovetop. 

What I love most about this recipe is you can use these beans in many other dishes as well. They work for refried black beans, a bean dip, or drained and added to burritos. Soup isn’t the only option with a pot full of these beauties! 

I’ve marked a few more recipes in the cookbook to try (Lime Ice, anyone!) and Key West is tops on my list of places to explore further one day. 


Yield: 6
Author: Linda Ditch
Hemingway Black Bean Soup

Hemingway Black Bean Soup

Adapted from The Hemingway Cookbook by Craig Boreth


  • 1 pound dry black beans
  • 2 large green bell peppers
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons crushed dried oregano
  • 32 ounces low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Hot sauce, to taste
  • Diced bell peppers, for garnish
  • Sour cream, for garnish


  1. The night before, rinse the beans and check for any stones. Put the beans in a large bowl and cover with water to 2 to 4 inches above the level of the beans. Set aside to soak overnight.
  2. The next day, drain the water from the beans and then pour the beans into a slow cooker. Dice the green bell peppers and onion and add to the cooker, along with all the ingredients up to the vinegar. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or high for 4 to 5 hours. Add water to the slow cooker if more moisture is needed.
  3. Just before serving, add the vinegar, salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Serve as is or over rice. (I used brown rice.) Garnish with the chopped bell peppers and sour cream (or Greek-style yogurt).
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