Recipe for Cuban black bean soup
Few dishes satisfy more than black beans cooked in the Cuban style, flavored with onion, green pepper, garlic and cumin. When served with rice, it's called moros y cristianos (Moors and Christians), a classic side dish, though I love it as the centerpiece of a vegetarian meal. Here, I've turned the moros into a soup. Instead of blending it at the end, simply smash a few of the beans against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon, until the soup has a bit of character but still has plenty of broth. If you have cilantro on hand, add a pinch to the soup. I used parsley from my garden.
Cuban black bean soup
Serves 2; can be doubled.
1 tsp canola oil
1 small onion, chopped to the same size as the beans
1 small green pepper (or half a larger one), chopped to the same size as the beans
1 large clove of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tsp ground cumin
2 cups cooked black beans (if canned, rinse and drain)
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
1-2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro, optional
In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and green pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Stir in the cumin, and sauté for 1 minute, then pour in the beans. Stir to combine, and add 3 cups of water.
Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cook, uncovered, for 25 minutes, stirring now and then to make sure the beans aren't sticking to the pan. With a wooden spoon, mash a few of the beans against the side of the pot, and stir them back into the broth until it's the consistency you prefer.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into individual bowls, and garnish with cilantro. Serve hot, or allow to cool completely, and freeze in airtight containers.