Black Bean, Bacon and Salsa “Shortcut” Soup

by Jackie Wicks

This can be a very easy recipe to make. If you look at any (good) black bean soup recipe, there is usually a long list vegetables and spices. By using salsa and a curry/spice mix like Muchi Curry (or any other high quality curry powder), you can make this recipe very quickly. 

Like any recipe we outline, there are many different directions you can take. We have outlined the “base ingredients” that you need to successfully make the recipe. We also outline a list of “variable ingredients” that you use to customize the soup to match your tastes.

Vegans and vegetarians can easily remove the bacon. If you have a family that includes men who wonder “where the real food is” you can up the bacon and maybe even put some chunks of meat in there and make it more of a stew. This recipe includes plenty of nutrient dense foods so that it will serve the dual purpose of making it seem like “real food” while serving them big doses of “good stuff.”

Delivery is everything when introducing new healthy recipes and dinners in the home.

When asked what’s for dinner, if you answer black beans, salsa, quinoa, invariably the answer becomes “where’s the beef or that’s bird food, how am I supposed to feel full?”

Always lead with the traditional ingredient. In this black bean soup, say, we’re having bacon (or chicken or steak, whatever you’ve added). As long as everyone feels they are having the traditional protein, they don’t anticipate dinners as this new healthy kick you’re on, counting down the days until you revert back to beef bolognese pasta. When you answer, a new beef dish!” or a “special chicken hungry man chili” they start to look forward to what’s next.

If you live in a gluten free house, the addition of Quinoa will provide a nice dose of non-wheat carbs. If you are looking to lose weight, increase your energy or are following Dr. Fuhrman’s plan you can make sure to add as many blended greens as you can. For those of you following the PEERtrainer Cheat System, this is yet another way to “eat from the left.” 

This is also a recipe that you can make a lot of. If you have gotten into our Magic Fridge concept, you’ll find this recipe especially easy to make.

Base Ingredients:

  • 1 16 oz Container Of Salsa
  • Muchi Curry or Curry Powder
  • 2 Cups Cooked Black Beans
  • 1/2 Serrano or Jalapeno Pepper (Onions are a nice replacement if you like flavor but not too much spice)
  • 2-3 Cups Water

Variable Ingredients:

  • 2 Slices Bacon
  • 1/4-1/2 Cup Uncooked Quinoa (Or a half to a full Cup Cooked if you already have it in your fridge)
  • 2 Cups Cooked and Blended Kale (Thanks to Jennifer Stewart for the suggestion on our Facebook Page, who says “you can’t even tell the kale is in there.”
  • Any extra vegetables you want or have on hand
  • 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil, Coconut Oil or Flaxseed Oil. (Especially if you are an athlete)


Chop the peppers (or onions) and add them to the water and the beans. Bring the mixture to a boil, and then add the salsa. From here, this is really a “choose your own adventure” recipe. Add Quinoa if you want to make a thicker soup or stew. Add some well cooked bacon for some added flavor and texture. Add Chicken or Beef if that is a direction you want to head.

Important Note: We strongly encourage you to follow Jennifer’s suggestion and add blended kale. Kale and other greens are very high in nutrients that most of us don’t get enough of. For example, Kale contains the highest concentration of Vitamin K of any food. Vitamin K is critical for bone health and healthy aging, yet experts say that poor intake of Vitamin K is common.

We are focusing on this because a) the average American eats very few greens and b) greens contain the highest concentration of Vitamin K. Other excellent sources of Vitamin K include Spinach, Swiss Chard and Collard Greens. 

Greens obviously have a ton of health benefits, but we are bringing focus to Vitamin K, because it is a relatively new area of focus among researchers and health experts.

Calorie and Nutrition Information:

150 Calories in a 16 Ounce Container Of Salsa. (Fresh salsa usually contains tomatoes, green chiles, onions, salt, cilantro, garlic)

200 Calories Per Cup Of Cooked Black Beans (Black beans are roughly 100 calories per cooked half cup)

2 Slices Cooked Bacon have 40-50 calories per slice. Thicker bacon can have 100 or more calories per slice.

2 cups of cooked kale has only 35 calories and an amazing array of nutrients. As we mentioned, Kale has the most Vitamin K of any food. It also contains megadoses of Vitamin A and C and antioxidants, as well as meaningful amounts of a wide array of other vitamins and minerals. There is a good reason it is the #1 most nutrient dense food on Dr. Fuhrman’s ANDI food scoring system.

Overall this recipe will provide you an array of important vitamins, minerals and nutrients. It also contains plenty of protein and calcium. 

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