Cuban Black Bean Soup

Total Time:
2 hr 35 min
Prep:
20 min
Cook:
2 hr 15 min

Yield:
4 servings
Level:
Easy

Ingredients
  • 1 pound black beans
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 Italian frying pepper, halved
  • Olive oil, for sauteing, plus 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 white onion, large dice
  • 1 red pepper, large dice
  • 1 green pepper, large dice
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/8 cup white vinegar
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion, for garnish
Directions

In a large stockpot, cover the beans with water, covering them by 2 inches. Add bay leaf, cumin, oregano, and Italian pepper. Simmer until the beans are tender, about 45 minutes.

After 45 minutes, remove the pepper.

In a saute pan, saute onions, red, and green peppers until translucent. Puree in a blender, this is the sofrito.

In the same pan, saute the garlic. Add to the beans, along with the sofrito, 1/4-cup olive oil, sugar, and vinegar. Season with salt and continue to cook until very thick, about 45 minutes. Garnish with finely chopped red onion.


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    Being Cuban and having done black beans almost all my life this is NOT a true recipe for black beans as we do it..  
    Twp very important ingredient are missing from this recipe, vinegar and sugar... try this: 
    Soak beans since the night before with half a bell pepper and half an onion. In the morning change the water but not with cold water, make the water room temperature.. lately I've been doing the beans on a slow cooker so now put your cooker on high for 3 hrs, then on slow for 4 hrs.. pinch one or two beans to make sure they are soft.. while the beans are cooking sautee: 1 onion sliced thin, 1 bell pepper sliced thin, 3 cloves of garlic smashed, 1 tps cumin, 1 tbs of oregano, 1 or 2 bay leaves, when the onions are translucent add to the beans.. Also add, 1 tbs of apple cider or vinegar, 2 tbs of sugar, salt and pepper... stir the beans and taste to see if it tastes all right.. let it sit until about 1/2 hr before serving, serve very hot with white rice on the side.. Buen appetito!
    I loved this soup. We are vegaterians and we enjoyed this soup.
    So DELICIUOS!! I altered a little after reading some of the reviews. I only used 1/2 lb of dried Black beans for the amount of Sofrito made here. I also added turmeric to the beans as well as bay leaf oregano and cumin. I added a whole jalapenos to the sauteed veggies for sofrito for some added spice and I used the juice of 2 limes instead of vinegar. This has got to be one of my FAVORITE soups! Made just enough for my husband and me to have a small bowl twice. So next time I may make a 1lb of beans and double the sofrito!
    No rating yet, because I am in the process of making the soup, and combining it with another recipe from a cookbook. I just wanted to tell people who are having trouble with hard/soft beans. I had that problem for years, to the point where I stopped using dried beans. When I started again, I actually read the directions on the bean package. Here's the secret. Bring the beans and water to a boil, immediately turn the heat back to a gentle simmer and PARTIALLY cover the pot. I used to put the cover all the way on. I have no idea why this makes such a difference.....but it does.
    This soup turned out really tasty, and I'm not a big soup fan. I did add jalapeno instead of the italian pepper, and used dry black beans that I had presoaked. I skipped the vinegar and added lots of lime juice instead. Yum! I'll definitely make this again.
    This is excellent if you use a spicy pepper (ie.jalepeno ) as the frying pepper and prepare dry black beans (soak overnight) without the spices , adding spices directly to the soup. Adjust the amount of beans balanced to sofrito. A pound of dry black beans makes alot , so either make more sofrito or use less beans, I tried it once with 2 cans instead of preparing the dry beans and it came out great. Don't omit sugar as this is the key to giving it a sweet sour taste (making authentically Cuban style) I have made this at least 6 times and it was devoured by my 3 teenagers, (1 veg)
    I was so excited to recreate the BBS that I've had else where, but what a disappointment! Very bland when done. I tried adding some things to it to salvage it, but no luck. I should of used lime juice instead of vinegar. It just needed a lot of kick to it, but I couldn't fiqure it out. This one of the worst soups I've ever had.
    Sylvia nailed some excellent requirements to bring this soup up to snuff.
     
     In place of the chicken bullion I used some condensed vegetable soup base (store bought) to keep the soup vegetarian. Worked great!
     
     I also added a few dashes of habanero pepper sauce and a tablespoon of black strap molasses (just for that cut of sweetness but far more subtle than sugar).
     
     Much happier with this recipe now and have tried it several times. Thanks Silvia!
    I used white wine instead of vinegar and cut the sugar to 1 tsp.
     also added a ham bone for smoke flavor. DELICIOUS!
    These beans smelled great while they were cooking, but were totally bland when I tasted them. Here are a few things I would change about this recipe:
     
     1- Add two chicken bullion cubes to the beans while they cook...or add a serious dose of salt.
     2- Nix the sugar, I could tell that it was in there...it just didn't taste right.
     3- When you add the sofrito to the soup, also add two or three tablespoons of tomato paste.
     4- Throw in bundle of cilantro at the end...I was a little surprised that the recipe didn't call for any.
     5- Substitute the vinegar for lime juice...that's just a personal preference :)
    I've been making BBS for years, but never pureed the sofrito. What a difference! This one is a keeper! But I do soak the beans first, often for more than a day, but that's just because my planning is so bad.
    I used canned beans and added Ditalini noodles for the kids. They loved it and no fighting about eating beans!!
    Like others, my beans never softened but the soup tasted good. I used a cubanelle pepper in the recipe-are there any other suggestions for the pepper?I never heard of an anaeim pepper.
    The big mystery was the italian frying pepper. In the groceries no one knew what that would be. I found it on line aka italian sweet pepper aka anahiem pepper. My mistake was clearly in measuring the beans...I made WAY more than four servings.
     Maybe the soup would have been five star otherwise. I soaked the beans, and cooked them overnight in a crock pot, then added the surfrito and so forth. It is good, and it did not transport me to that sidewalk stand in the sultry Miami nights where I feel in love with this soup. I will make it again. I will find that magic potion.First I will find a measuring cup.
    I also substituded canned black beans [2] and then followed recipe exactly the same. I also cooked some chicken marinated in Mo Jo,then added sredded pieces when beans were done. As good and quick as any Cuban Miami restaurant.
    I tried this recipe this evening and we thought it was very tasty. I used canned black beans and a Jalepeno pepper in place of the dried beans and the Italian frying pepper. Other than those two changes, I followed the recipe exactly. We had it over rice. It was very easy and quite different. I will fix this one again.
    I have no way to rate this because, like another reviewer, the beans never softened using this technique. We even left them overnight and it still didn't work.
     
     It smells great, and I'm sure it would taste great, but you either have to soak the beans overnight in water or used canned beans.
     
     Sadly, my batch is going down the sink.
    This is the best black bean soup I have had outside of Miami. I make it all the time and it's always a hit.
    While I think this would make a great soup, the directions as written left me frustrated. I should have been suspicious when the recipe only called for simmering beans for 90 minutes total using dry beans. I have to believe the recipe was meant to have the beans soaked overnight for this reduced cooking time. I should have known better. I ended up having to cook beans for a number of hours after adding all the ingredients and never got to point where beans were tender before all liquid was gone. Added water repeatedly. May try again after soaking, but this was a frustrating experience.
    This soup was awesome and a breeze to make. I served it with a scoop of white rice, dollop of sour cream, cotija cheese, and a loaf of crusty french bread. Delicious!!!!!!!
    I agree with some of the other reviewers that this is a great soup, but is even better with a little kick. I added a ham hock and some creole seasonings, made extra sofrito and served it on top of the soup with homemade sour cream and Emeril's creole essence sprinkled over all.
    I didnt follow the directions exactly. I did the first step (of simmering the beans for 45 minutes) in a pot on the stove. After adding the other ingrediets to the soup, I transferred it to a crock pot (set on low) and let it cook overnight.
     
     I also added salt and adobo to this. This soup was excellent. I will definitely make this again!
    Comes close to black bean soup served up in Miami. Add some green olives and a bit of ham stock to increase authentic flavor.
    I skipped the whole process of using dry beans and used canned instead. Followed the rest of the recipe though.
     It was awesome-------Will make again!
    I liked this recipe, but it was really thick and I was expecting a "soup" and not something to ladle over rice. So I added a can of chicken stock, 8oz container of sour cream, tabasco sauce for more spice and salt. After I added these ingredients and let them simmer a bit, it was fantastic. I think the sour cream adds some richness.
    I made this recipe for a crowd and tripled it the first time I made it. Everyone raved about how great it was. I served it over yellow rice and garnished with the diced red onion and served balsamic vinegar on the side.
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