Thicker than a soup, thinner than a chili, and probably most like a stew, this unique dish combines black beans and pineapple with delicious results.
Sometimes ideas just come to me. I call it being inspired, but people of my parents’ generation called it being “touched in the head.”
I was sitting here at my desk one day thinking how much I like salsa with pineapple in it (because that’s the kind of deep thinking I do), when it occurred to me that what’s good in salsa should be good in soup. Black bean soup. So I tried it. And you know what? I was right.
If you balk at having fruit in your soup, let me tell you that there was a time when I couldn’t imagine something sweet ever touching my savory. But that was before I opened my palate to the sensations of pineapple mingling with peanuts and kale or cumin-grilled tofu heaped with papaya salsa. Now I’m a believer.
But even if you absolutely know that you don’t like fruit in your main dish, give this unique black bean pineapple soup a try. The pineapple lends such a subtly sweet flavor that my family didn’t even notice it until I pointed it out. But by then, they’d both finished two bowls, even daughter E, who doesn’t like black beans.
Hey, There’s Sweet in This Savory:
Here are a few other savory dishes that contain fruit.
- Grilled Tofu with Blueberry-Peach Salsa
- Wild Plum Sauce
- Vidalia Onions Stuffed with Rice-Lentil Pilaf
- Vegetable Couscous
- Cinnamon-Scented Pearl Couscous from One Hot Stove
- Curried Rice and Fruit Salad with Fresh Mango Dressing from Lisa’s Kitchen
- Quinoa with Cauliflower, Cranberries, and Pine Nuts from VegKitchen with Nava Atlas
Black Bean-Pineapple Soup Stew Chili
- 1 large onion diced
- 1 large red bell pepper seeded and diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced or pressed
- 1-2 jalapeno chiles stemmed, seeded and finely diced
- 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes preferably fire-roasted
- 2 16-ounce cans black beans rinsed and drained
- 2 cups vegetable broth or water plus bouillon cubes
- 1 tablespoon Ancho chili powder or other pure, mild chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder or to taste
- 2 teaspoons Mexican oregano optional
- generous grating black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1 pound yellow squash or zucchini
- 1 cup crushed pineapple and juice
- Heat a non-stick pot. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until golden and beginning to brown (a pinch of baking soda will speed up this process). Add the bell pepper and jalapeno and cook until softened, about two minutes. Add the garlic, stir briefly, and then add tomatoes, beans, broth, and seasonings (but not squash or pineapple). Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
- While the beans are cooking, trim the squash and cut into small cubes.
- Add the squash and pineapple, increase the heat a little, and cover. Simmer until squash is just tender. Check seasonings, adding more to taste, and serve.
Nutritional info is approximate.
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JessApril 11, 2011 at 4:30 pm
I didn’t used to love the idea of fruit in savory meals, but now it just depends on my mood – I love peach salsa right out of the bowl, so… 😀
Vickie TaylorApril 11, 2011 at 6:33 pm
I made this yesterday and went back for seconds…and thirds! I made it in the slow cooker. Really didn’t have to alter the recipe any for that. Just threw in everything except the pineapple, which I added the last few minutes. Didn’t precook anything. I also used low sodium black beans to get that sodium level in a healthier range. Finally, I used chipotle peppers in adobo sauce instead of jalapenos to give it the kick with a smokey flavor. It was AWESOME. Thanks — I would never had thought of adding pineapple.
GenaApril 11, 2011 at 9:45 pm
Ha! I love this hybrid-ful recipe.
ElizabethApril 12, 2011 at 11:43 am
I made this on Friday and have been craving it ever since. I may make it again this Friday 🙂
MaryApril 12, 2011 at 8:27 pm
I am so excited that I found your blog!!! So many great recipes! This looks like such a great source of fiber and protein…AND tasty!
TaraApril 13, 2011 at 6:55 am
Just made this last night and it was soooo delicious! Thanks for another great recipe!
WinnieApril 13, 2011 at 3:04 pm
Very yummy but next time maybe only a 1/2 jalepeno pepper. I like spice but mine came out a little too hot so I put in a little more beans and more of the pineapple. I will definitely make it again!
AbbeApril 13, 2011 at 9:13 pm
I just wanted to say that I LOVE your place setting.
AlexApril 14, 2011 at 8:12 am
This looks absolutely delightful!
I have a dilema though…i havent been able to cook ANYTHING with black beans because i cant find them in a can anywhere! i then went hunting and found some dried black beans just to realise that i have no idea how to use them! :O
How would one go about utilising dried black beans for such a recipe and how much dried would be equivalent to a can? (im guessing i soak over night? if so do they need to be pre-cooked before using in this recipe/other recipes?)
Thankyou for your help, ive been dying to use these black beans which much excitement!
Amy BurnsApril 24, 2011 at 2:11 pm
I made mine with dried black beans. The day before I soaked them for hours. Then before bed I put them in fresh water on the stove and boiled them for about 5 to 10 minutes. Then after draining, they went into fresh water again but this time in the crock pot for overnight cooking. I always put a few bay leaves in with garlic and onion powder. I NEVER salt the beans at this stage as I hear it can retard the cooking process and keep the beans from getting mushy. My family loves mushy beans that melt in your mouth. In the morning the beans are done and ready to be used like the canned (minus the excessive amounts of salt.) How much dried beans should you use? Cook the whole bag and use only what you need for each recipe. You can save the rest for another recipe or freeze/can it for future use.
LizMApril 15, 2011 at 10:34 am
Thanks for the recipe! We made it last night, and it turned out great! I will definately be making it again. The only thing I would change is that I think I will use chunks of pineapple next time instead of crushed pineapple. I could taste the sweetness of the pineapple, but it would have been really satisfying and refreshing to bite into a whole piece while eating this.
The taste combination really reminded me of living in South America, where I think the savory/sweet combo is more common than in the U.S. I may also try making the combo without as much liquid and serving it as a bean salad.
KatrinaApril 17, 2011 at 2:30 pm
Hello Susan. This recipe looks delicious and I am adding it to my menu for the week. I have a question though. The recipe states it serves 6. Is that a 1 cup serving or 1 1/2 cup, 2 cup, etc? Your input would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!
SusanVApril 17, 2011 at 3:06 pm
Katrina, I just use the number of servings that I actually got when I made it to determine the servings, but I would guess that a serving is around 1 1/2 to 2 cups or a standard soup bowl full.
MoonwatcherApril 17, 2011 at 9:11 pm
I made a “stewy” version of this by adding about a third of a cup of amaranth and a little less broth and beans (since I only had one can). I also roasted some cumin seeds and ground them up, instead of ancho chili powder, which I didn’t have. I used some smoked paprika, too. It made a milder version, but it was really good. Thanks! I will play with this delicious template again. 🙂
ElizabethApril 19, 2011 at 1:24 pm
I made this recipe for dinner last night, except that I pureed half of it before putting in the pineapple and zucchini becuase my husband hates bean texture. It was delicious, healthy and made a wonderful leftover lunch today too. Thanks!
KellyApril 23, 2011 at 1:06 am
I’m going to try this, but I’m going to try it with peaches instead of pineapple. I LOVE me some peach salsa (more than I like pineapple salsa). Thanks for such a great idea!
Carolyn ElliottApril 23, 2011 at 4:10 pm
Wow, black bean and pineapple is an inspired combination indeed– it makes me think of Carribean cuisine. I’m excited to give this a try– I’m thinking it might look especially beautiful garnished with shredded coconut.
I came up with a sweet black bean stew the other day myself. I’m calling it “Miraculous Rainbow Squash Soup” because I like fancy names. 😉 The recipe for it is on mine and my friend Jane’s blog, Love Leaf Nutritarian: http://loveleafnutritarian.com/2011/04/22/miraculous-rainbow-squash-soup-easy-hearty-fat-free/
Amy BurnsApril 24, 2011 at 2:04 pm
Wow! We just had this and I love it. My 17 yo had two bowls, actually 1 1/2 because this soup is filling. My 14 yo didn’t like it, but right now he doesn’t like much of anything. I’m going to make a double or even triple batch and can these to eat when we get a hankering for the sweet and spicy taste.
BrendaApril 24, 2011 at 8:50 pm
I made this tonight, using sliced pineapple that I chunked up….it was just delicious, and especially, I think, with the large bites of unexpected pineapple. Oh, and I didn’t have squash, so used a red garnet yam. Over quinoa. This dish may now be my newest “addiction!”
THANKS for sharing your ideas!
sheila @ ElementsApril 26, 2011 at 6:59 pm
ooooooh…that looks good! I would have never thought of putting pineapple in a black bean soup, but it sure does sound wonderful! I’ve bookmarked the recipe so I can try it. I can’t wait! 🙂
ShivaniApril 27, 2011 at 11:33 pm
Yummy stew! I made it with mango and pumpkin instead of pineapple and squash, using what I had at hand. Thanks for the recipe!
GeethaMay 10, 2011 at 2:09 pm
Looks so yum .I was wondering if I could make this in a crockpot?I have dry beans.At what stage do I add the pineapple and squash then?
SusanVMay 10, 2011 at 2:11 pm
I would add them for the last hour of cooking. Give them enough time for the squash to cook but not fall apart.
MaggieMay 12, 2011 at 1:41 pm
I used this as an inspiration point for a “clean out the fridge/freezer” chili I made last week — I subbed a crumbled package of tempeh and a chopped 8-oz packate of seitan (both from the far corners of the freezer) for the black beans (to appease someone who believes chili does not contain beans) and most of a jar of chopped roasted red peppers for the fresh. It was awesome, and the leftovers made a great chili-mac the next day, with a slightly-thickened cheezy sauce from your Easy Mac-n-Cheeze. Thanks for the idea!
KCallaMay 14, 2011 at 4:29 pm
Just had this for dinner with brown rice. Fantastic. Thank again for another great meal. My only changes: Used frozen rather than fresh yellow squash, and used my freezer standby of the leftovers of a can of chipotle in adobo, chopped from frozen instead of the jalepenos and chipotle chile powder. It was perfect for me. My husband added a couple of Cholula Hot Sauce. The pineapple addition was inspired. I am not a pinapple fan and I loved it. (I used an 8 oz can of Pineapple tidbits in 100% juice).
maryannMay 21, 2011 at 7:28 pm
i have made this dish twice and its very good it got better each time i made this dish.
we loved it
SowjiJune 13, 2011 at 5:45 pm
By far the best soup i ever made. Did not add stock and substituted napa cabbage for zucchini as that. Is what i had on hand….simply stellar,you truly inspire me susan!
Julie & MartyJune 20, 2011 at 9:10 pm
This was very tasty! You could taste the pineapple, but if you didn’t know it was in there, you wouldn’t be able to say, “Hey, there is pineapple in my chili!” Gets better leftover.
KristenAugust 11, 2011 at 9:44 pm
I’ve made this several times (again tonight) and it is FABULOUS!! I can’t get enough of pineapple, which makes me love it even more. Thanks for the recipe!
Wendy PeffercornSeptember 5, 2011 at 10:14 pm
This was the first recipe I made from this website and it was definitely a winner! The pineapple was such a delicious surprising touch. I can’t wait to explore the site some more and try out more of the recipes.
Jenni BeesleyOctober 9, 2011 at 10:14 am
Made it. Loved it. Didn’t have a whole pound of yellow squash or zucchini so I used my one yellow squash and one of my acorn squash cubed (just added it with the broth step). Did not have chipotle chile powder or Mexican oregano but it was delicious none the less. This will become a favorite for sure! Thank you!
AnuDecember 7, 2011 at 4:42 pm
I tried this today, and it was delicious! The only substitution I made was to use Red Chana instead of beans. This is the first time I’ve tried fruit in a savory dish, and I’m hooked 🙂
darlene tenopalaDecember 12, 2011 at 8:17 pm
First time making a recipe from this website, It was very good 🙂 Very spicy but maybe cause I added 2 chipotle peppers and a litte adobe sauce. My husband loved it, cant wait to try more recipes !
JuleeJanuary 9, 2012 at 12:44 pm
I just made this today….YUM! I didn’t have any squash, so I doubled up on the peppers (can never get enough of those) and added some mushrooms instead. It is so good, I’m thinking about getting some more!
AysheApril 17, 2012 at 3:31 am
Susan, I have only just stumbled across your blog while googling Eat to Live recipes, and let me say your recipes are incredible! I just made this one tonight, loved it, and will certainly be making many more. Well done!
annrJuly 24, 2012 at 5:55 pm
Love this recipe! I made it today in the middle of a heatwave, and even my meat lover husband enjoyed it. He kept saying “That smells great!” then actually put aside his bag of fast food to try some chili! It’s spicy with just a hint of sweetness. I made it in a hurry today – about 15 minutes – now I can’t wait to try the leftovers after they’ve simmered a little longer.