A healthy, hearty cuban black bean soup!
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.
Pre-Cook Beans: Next day, drain beans and rinse again. Place beans back in pot, add water, bring to a boil and simmer covered for 1 hour, drain and rinse.
Orange: Juice the orange and set the juice aside. Reserve the orange halves for the soup.
Cook Soup: To the pot of freshly cooked beans, add the bay leaves, garlic, cumin, paprika, onion, celery, carrots, bell pepper, water/broth, orange halves, salt and pepper, reserving the orange juice for later. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and 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 the 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 the orange juice to the pureed soup and cook another 5-10 minutes.
To Serve: 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.