The Coach House's Black Bean Soup

"The Coach House Restaurant on Waverly Place in New York City was legendary. It was owned by a Greek, the beloved Leon Lianides, and dedicated to serving classic American food in an era when fine dining spoke French. After suffering ups and downs in its later years, it closed for good in 1993, and Mr. Lianides died in 1998. But there are plenty of New Yorkers who still grow misty-eyed at the thought of the Coach House corn sticks, the black bean soup with Madeira and -- sweetest memory of all -- the mocha dacquoise. I had acquired the black bean soup recipe back in the early 80's, and decided to post it here for posterity, and for those who might remember it fondly. Beware, though, that there is nothing quick about making this soup."
photo by a user photo by a user
Ready In:




  • Wash beans in a colander. Put in a bowl. Cover with cold water and let soak overnight, refrigerated.
  • Drain and wash again.
  • In a large casserole, combine drained beans with the 3 quarts of water. Cover and simmer for 90 minutes.
  • In a heavy kettle, saute bacon a few minutes, then add celery and onion and cook until tender. Do not brown.
  • Add beef bones, ham shank, remaining herbs and vegetables and pepper. Add beans and their cooking liquid. Cover and simmer for 3-4 hours, until beans are very tender. Add more water if necessary.
  • Remove bones and ham. Puree soup in a food mill. Return to pot, add Madeira and chopped eggs. Mix well and serve.

Questions & Replies

Got a question? Share it with the community!


  1. I clipped this Coach House BB Soup recipe from the NYDaily News more than 25 years ago and enjoyed it several times in my youth. Having lost that original clipping years ago, I am thrilled to have found this recipe again here. Recently made this soup again and it's exactly as I remembered it. Nutritious and tasty winter meal!! Don't forget to add the Madeira and hard-boiled eggs as they really make the dish.
  2. Made this as a very special entree to take to a park-wide potluck, as much because it was something unexpected at a potluck as for the fact that I was so sure it would really be something that others would rave about, & I was so right on both accounts! A lot of preparation, for sure, but well worth the effort, I thought, & those who sampled it were very pleased, as well! [Made & reviewed in Newest Zaar recipe tag]


I didn't start cooking until my early 20's, even though I come from a family of accomplished and admired home cooks. While I grew up watching my Italian grandmother in the kitchen, I remained uninterested in trying anything on my own. As a young lady, I was known for being particularly ignorant in the kitchen, with no idea how to even make a hot dog! All this changed, however, when I got engaged. I realized it was time to let my inherent talents out of the bag. At the time, the New York Times had a weekly column called The 60-Minute Gourmet by Pierre Franey. Each week, I would follow these recipes diligently, and taught myself to cook that way. From there, I began to read cookbooks and consult with relatives on family recipes. At my ripe old age now, I feel I know enough to put together a very pleasing meal and have become accomplished in my own right. Having an Irish father and an Italian mother, I'm glad I inherited the cooking gene (and the drinking one too!). One thing I have learned is that simpler is always better! I always believe cooking fills a need to nurture and show love. After being widowed fairly young and living alone with my dog and cats, I stopped cooking for awhile, since I really had no one to cook for. I made care packages for my grown son occasionally, and like to cook weekly for my boyfriend, so I feel like I am truly back in the saddle!!
View Full Profile

Find More Recipes