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Playing Carla Hall’s Southern Soup Beans


  • 1 pound dry beans (such as pinto, navy, black-eyed pea or limas)
  • 2 whole carrots, peeled
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 smoked serrano chile peppers
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper
  • Garnish: Diced raw onions, chow-chow


Rinse, drain and pick through the beans to check for stones or debris. Soak overnight covered with 8 cups of water.
Drain, rinse and place beans in a large soup pot. Cover with 8 cups of fresh water. Add the carrots, onion, celery, bay leaves, garlic and serrano chile peppers. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until thickened and creamy. Do not allow to boil.

Stir in the olive oil, cumin, cayenne and salt and pepper. Serve topped with diced raw onion, chow chow and cornbread