Costa Rican Black Bean Soup

Another recipe from one of our fellow bloggers! We modified this one from The Cooking Photographer. Laura has a great blog with exceptional photos. Check her out if you haven't already!

Laura suggested using plantains in the soup to make it more of a traditional dish if you are able to find them. Lucky for me, Harris Teeter pulled through. I've never used plantains before, but I just always assumed they were just like regular bananas. So not the case! I had to consult my favorite source of information - google - to tell me otherwise. Plantains are popular in tropical regions and are typically cooked - broiled, fried or baked. Unlike regular bananas, they hold their shape when cooked. For recipes like this one, you want to use the plantains in their green (unripe) phase. As they turn yellow, then ultimately black (the ripe phase), they become sweeter. When they are green, they are more of a starchy vegetable. When black, you would be more likely use them for a dessert recipe.

The plantain I got was super hard to open - I actually had to end up cutting most of the peel off with a knife. Then the plantain itself was super hard - like a potato almost.

The egg part seems scary - at least it did to us. The yolks all started sinking and stuff when we 'slid' them in the pot. Definitely thought it wouldn't turn out right. We put on the lid anyways to give it a shot. A few minutes later, we uncovered the soup and viola! The eggs were perfectly formed - slightly runny yolk and all.

I don't know if our slow-cooker cooks slow (hah), but Laura's recipe said to cook the beans for 5-6 hours & ours took quite a bit longer (closer to 7 or 8 hrs). You may want to just monitor them. Our cooker is a pretty big one - maybe if yours is smaller it won't take as long?

Serves 8.


  • 1 pound dried black beans
  • 2 cloves garlic, one whole and one minced
  • 6 cups hot water
  • 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt, divided
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 green plantain, peeled and diced
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced
  • 1/4-1/2 freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried minced onion (or 1/2 tsp onion powder)
  • 1/3 cup water for deglazing pot
  • Eggs, 1 per person
  • 1 avacado, diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • sour cream
  • cilantro
  • lime wedges


  1. Rinse beans well in a colander, then spread out on a baking sheet and sort out any rocks or bad looking beans.
  2. Place the beans in a slow cooker, and the whole garlic clove, and cover with hot water.
  3. Cook on low heat for 8 hours, or until done (tender, but not falling apart). Turn off the heat and add 2 tsp salt. Let the beans rest until you’re ready to start the soup.
  4. Warm the olive oil and minced garlic clove in a large pot over medium high. After 30 seconds, add the carrots, plantains, 1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and 1 tsp minced onion. Cook for 4 minutes. Add onion and bell pepper. Stir to combine and cook stirring occasionally until the vegetables are tender and the onions start to brown. About 10-15 minutes.
  5. Add the water to the pot and deglaze the bottom of the pan. Meanwhile puree 2 cups of the black beans with the garlic clove they were cooked with. Add the puree and the rest of the black beans with their liquid to the soup pot. Cook stirring often until bubbly.
  6. Carefully crack the eggs into small bowls, one per bowl. Then slide eggs gently into the soup pot and cover with a lid. Cook for a couple of minutes until the egg whites solidify but leave the yolks runny to taste.
  7. To serve, scoop up the beans with an egg into individual bowls. Garnish with toppings as desired.


Marisa said...

Now that's a soup with personality! Love all the toppings you've added - it's like nachos in soup form. Which equals only one thing : YUMness.

Unknown said...

ohhhh wow does that look good!! Even at this hour of the morning....LOL!!!

3 hungry tummies said...

That is a lovely hearty bowl of soup! It is getting cold here so this will be perfect!

Barbara said...

Mmmmmm. That look fabulous! I love all your toppings.
I did know that about plantains because we visit the Caribbean a lot and have them there.

grace said...

this is AWESOME. the soup alone would satisfy me quite nicely, but the addition of the egg is perfect and ingenious. great recipe and pics!

Conor @ HoldtheBeef said...

You've straddled summer and winter pretty nicely with this meal! Hearty soup with fresh salads, best of both worlds.

Juliana said...

Yummie, this bean soup looks delicious, love the egg on it.

♥peachkins♥ said...

love the soup! such vibrant colors!!

blowing peachkisses
The Peach Kitchen
peach and things

Tasty Trix said...

This is an amazingly appetizing photo, seriously. And a tip I learned for getting the peel off of plantains is to score them, from top to bottom, then cut both ends off - the peel comes off in strips then, it's much easier! (I was so relieved once I found this out!)

Sharon said...

I've been to Costa Rica and the food there is SO amazing. This soup brings back memories of vacation. Doesn't get much better than that!

Leslie said...

Sounded like a pain in the ass to make..but it sure looks delicious!

Kerstin said...

I love plantains but haven't seen them used in a soup before - love it!

Ivy said...

This soup looks so good. Have never tried plantains before.

Kathleen said...

I love black bean soup. I serve it the same way with all the yummy toppings. Your version sounds really yummy. I'm bookmarking it right now!

Velva said...

This is awesome! I think I died and went to heaven. I have bookmarked this one. Thanks.

Cucinista said...

This looks AMAZING. Like, I want to go make it now, instead of going to bed because it's after midnight on a Sunday evening (er, Monday morning). Will have to wait until tomorrow...

Chef E said...

Last year my friend wanted me to make a Costa Rican party for her birthday, so I did, and man do I want some of that food again right now! A bowl of this yummy soup, with extra avocado please!

Unknown said...

this looks amazing! need to try it :)

Dewi said...

The soup looks scrumptious!

test it comm said...

That looks really tasty!

Alison said...

This looks delicious and super nutritious!

Cherie said...

I have no plantains, but I'm making this soup asap, even without it!

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