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November 1, 2010

Recipe for Cuban black bean soup

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.

Ingredients

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

Directions

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.

Print recipe only.

Comments

1
Posted by: pam | November 1, 2010 at 12:51 PM

I used to have a Cuban black bean soup recipe that was wonderful. I loaned the cookbook out to someone and never got it back, so I've been searching ever since then.

2
Posted by: Meeta | November 1, 2010 at 03:23 PM

oh i love black beans with cumin. an amazing combination! you'll have to make this for me one day!

3
Posted by: Kalynskitchen | November 1, 2010 at 03:25 PM

One of my favorite soups! Of course I must have cilantro in mine.

4
Posted by: Lydia | November 1, 2010 at 10:02 PM

Pam, I hope this recipe comes close to the wonderful soup you remember.

Meeta, I'd like nothing better! This soup always reminds me of the one trip Ted and I took to Cuba.

Kalyn, cilantro is more authentic than the parsley I used. And, after all, you are the Cilantro Queen!

5
Posted by: Adele in Minn. | November 2, 2010 at 09:58 AM

I have a question, why do you recomend that we drain and rinse the canned beans? I feel that you lose nutrients when you do that.

6
Posted by: Lydia | November 2, 2010 at 11:12 PM

Adele, I often find that canned beans are a bit salty. I rinse and drain, which eliminates some of that extra salt, and I can control the saltiness of the dish to my taste.

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  • I'm Lydia Walshin, a longtime food writer who lives and cooks in a real log house. If I could, I'd eat Chinese noodles, grapes, ice cream and soup every day.
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