In Mexican cuisine, black beans are a culinary mainstay often served in soups and stews. Black bean soup is also popular in the Caribbean, where rum, sherry or peppered wine is added for a boozy twist. It’s an excellent starter, and a great alternative to traditional chili if you want to mix things up. For a boost of flavor, we love using summer corn, spicy sausage and grilled shrimp. Temper spicy black bean soups with fragrant cilantro crema or cool avocado salsa, and add heat with ancho chiles and jalapeños. Get all of the best recipes in our guide to black bean soup.