Black bean soup

  (Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)

Dear SOS: Could you possibly get the recipe for the black bean soup at Las Brisas restaurant in Laguna Beach? They have the most delicious black bean soup I've ever tasted!

Beatrice Hayden Rolling Hills Estates

Dear Beatrice: We loved the texture and depth of this black bean soup, slow-simmered with smoked ham hocks and seasoned with salt pork, garlic, cumin and oregano. Served with an assortment of garnishes, it makes for a visually striking presentation.

Black bean soup

Total time: 2 1/2 to 3 hours

Servings: 12 to 16

Note: Adapted from Las Brisas

Pico de gallo

4 1/2 tablespoons minced white onion

4 1/2 tablespoons minced tomato

3 tablespoons minced cilantro

3 fresh serrano chiles, seeded and minced

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice


In a serving bowl, toss together the onion, tomato, cilantro, chiles and lime juice. Season with salt to taste. This makes about 1 cup pico de gallo.

Black bean soup and assembly

2 pounds dried black beans, picked over and rinsed

4 quarts water, more as needed

1 white onion, chopped