Pink and Black Soup title

Pink and Black Soup

black bean soup
The Pink and Black Soup in our Medalta bean pot

We’ve been avoiding stores during the coronavirus lockdown. While digging through our cupboards, I found a bag of dry black beans from 21st Century Bean. We had some leftover bone-in ham. Inspiration struck. Black bean soup with a hambone. Perfect. But what a boring name. Let’s call it Pink and Black Soup. Pink ham and black beans.

I could find no recipe that wouldn’t make me go to the store. So I invented Pink and Black Soup, a black bean soup recipe, using the instructions from Dinner with Julie and 21st Century Bean, plus inspiration from the Boulder Locavore. The soup is so delicious that I have to be able to make it again. I hope you will like it as well.

The black beans and the spice blend are from companies here in Goodland, Kan. The spice blend comes from Old Westport Spice & Trading Co. 21st Century Bean is a farmer-owned cooperative. (Neither firm is compensating us.)

We use a Medalta bean pot for the Pink and Black Soup. Medalta is a stoneware company that is now a historic site in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada. They still manufacture and sell their pottery.

Be aware: Start preparing dry beans the night before you intend to serve them.

Pink and Black Soup


  • 24-oz. package of dry black beans or the canned equivalent
  • Large hambone with some meat attached
  • 2 Tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 Tablespoons Sizzlin’ Sunset Cajun Spice Blend
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 Anaheim peppers, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup mesquite whiskey
  • Cooked ham, diced

How to make Pink and Black Soup

Dry bean preparation

Empty the dry beans into a bowl. Look through them and discard any beans that are shriveled or otherwise unappealing. Generously cover the beans with water and let them soak overnight. The next day, drain the beans and gently rinse them under flowing water.

Transfer the beans to a large cooking pot and cover them with water. Use filtered water if available.

Bring the beans to a boil over medium-high heat. After they boil, turn down the heat to a low simmer. Cover the pot with the lid slightly ajar.

Bean and sauce preparation

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Cook the bean mixture for 30-40 minutes until they are tender, but still firm. Drain the beans, but reserve the cooking water.

While the beans are cooking, saute the peppers, garlic, lemon juice, and dry ingredients. Place the hambone in the bottom of the bean pot or other heavy baking dish. Stir the pepper mixture and whiskey into the beans and pour the mixture into the baking dish. Add enough cooking water to cover the entire mixture, then stir to combine.

Place the baking dish on a jelly roll pan or roasting pan to catch liquids. Bake covered for 4-5 hours or until the beans are tender. Check the soup every so often. If the beans seem too dry, add water. After removing the baking dish from the oven, let the Pink and Black Soup rest for half an hour before serving. Add the diced ham to taste. Top with sour cream if desired. Serve with cornbread.

The longer Pink and Black Soup sits, the better it tastes. If the soup becomes too dry, add more water.

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