Was a nice weekend to do some cooking. I decided to make a black bean soup that I’ve been wanting to do. Black beans are a ‘superfood’ containing good amounts of fiber, protein and other trace minerals so important to good health. I want to incorporate more of them into my diet and this is great recipe for that. This is a dish that you will need to begin a day ahead but I have also included a shorter version for those who would rather have it within an hour. Although using the dried beans does take longer to put together, it’s simple and so very good. It’s especially good with the cashew cream’s. I’m finding many uses for these. I have it pictured here with a Cashew Sour Cream, but feel free to use this Lime Cilantro Cashew Cream or Paprika Cashew Crema that would be just as well adding some great flavors.
CUBAN BLACK BEAN SOUP
- black beans, 1 lb. dried or 3 cans (15 oz.), rinsed and drained (see notes)
- 2-3 bay leafs
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 -2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 large white onion, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
- 3 cups water or vegetable broth
- juice of one orange + remainders
- himalayan salt and pepper to taste
Soak beans: The night before, rinse beans in colander with cold running water. Pick through and remove any broken or shriveled beans. Place beans in large pot with 5 or 6 cups water and cover to soak overnight.
Cook: Next day, drain beans and rinse again. Place beans back in pot, add water, bring to a boil and simmer covered for 1 hour. Add in the remaining ingredients except juice of the orange. Bring to a boil, simmer for 40 minutes to one hour, or until beans and vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Add extra water as necessary.
Puree: Once beans are tender, remove orange halves and bay leaves. Use an immersion blender to blend soup to desired consistency. I blended about 3/4, leaving some chunkiness. You could also use a food processor/blender (this method may take two batches to complete). Blending is optional, you may like it chunky as is. Add orange juice and cook another 5-10 minutes.
Serve alone or over a bed of cooked buckwheat, farro or brown rice. Top soup with a dollop of Sour Cream, Lime Cilantro Cashew ‘Sour Cream’ or Paprika Cashew Crema. You may also like to top it with diced onion, tomatoes, bell peppers, avocado, jalapenos, a squeeze of lime and/or cilantro.
Serves 4 generously, or 6 smaller portions.
If using canned beans, be sure to drain and rinse them well. Put ingredients in pot as in the instructions for ‘Cook’ but only use 2 cups water to start, bring to boil and simmer for 40 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Add more water as needed. Continue with step 3. You may also decide to saute your onions, celery, carrots & bell pepper first on medium high heat using oil of choice for about 5 min before you start with your canned beans.