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Vegetarian Black Bean Chowder


Black bean and tomato chowder in a bowl, garnished with fresh herbs

Heidi Swanson is an enthusiastic, self-taught home cook based in Los Angeles. She has an inspiring blog, 101 Cookbooks, and has written numerous cookbooks.

I love this dish because the orange juice gives it a surprise Caribbean-ish flavor. I sometimes add a bit of chopped habanero in the beginning with the onions when I know I'm cooking for people who aren't afraid of a little heat. —Steve

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 onions, chopped
  • 3 shallots, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups of cooked and drained Midnight BlackAyocote Negro, or Santanero Negro Delgado beans 
  • 1 (28-oz.) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
  • 1/4 cup rum (optional)
  1. To a large pot over medium heat, add the extra-virgin olive oil, onions, shallots, garlic, and salt. Saute for 5 minutes, or until the onions start to get soft.
  2. Add the black beans, crushed tomatoes, orange juice, and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat and whisk in the rum. Season with salt to taste.


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