Thursday, December 17, 2015

Cuban Black Bean Soup

     Black Bean Soup!
     Cuban style black bean soup is popular everywhere in Florida and the Caribbean!  I have sold this popular soup in nearly every restaurant that I have worked in.  Black beans have plenty of flavor.  Cumin compliments the flavor of black beans in a nice way.  Cuban style Black Bean Soup is very mild and savory.

     Black Beans:
     This recipe yields 2 to 3 large portions of beans!  (About 4 cups)
     A pressure cooker is best for cooking dried beans, but if too much water is added, the pressure cooked beans will end up being mushy soft.  If a pressure cooker is used, it is best to flavor the beans after they are cooked.
     Step 1:  Soak 1 1/2 cups of dried black beans in water overnight in a refrigerator.
     Drain off the soaking water and rinse the black beans under cold running water.
     Step 2:  Place the black beans in a pot.
     Add 1 cup of chicken broth.
     Add enough water to cover the beans with 2" of extra liquid.
     Step 3:  Add 1/2 tablespoon of cider vinegar.
     Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil or lard.
     Step 4:  Add 1/4 teaspoon of onion powder.
     Add 1 pinch of garlic powder.
     Add sea salt and black pepper to taste
     Step 5:  Bring the liquid to a boil over medium high heat for 17 minutes.
     Step 6:  Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Simmer the beans, till they are tender.  Add water as necessary to keep the beans covered with 1" of liquid.
     Step 7:  After the beans are tender, simmer and reduce till the level of liquid is slightly lower than the beans.
     Keep the black beans warm over low heat or chill them till they are needed. 
     Cuban Black Bean Soup:
     This recipe yields 2 servings of soup!  (About 4 cups)
     Step 1:  Place 2 cups of rinsed pre-cooked black beans or rinsed canned black beans in a mixing bowl.
     Mash 2/3 of the black beans.
     Set the prepared black beans aside.
     Step 2:  Heat a sauce pot over medium low heat.
     Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil.
     Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of small chopped pork fat.
     Sauté till the pork fat is lightly browned and the grease is rendered.
     Step 3:  Add 1/4 cup of small chopped onion.
     Add 2 tablespoons of small chopped celery.
     Add 1 teaspoon of chopped garlic.
     Add 1 tablespoon of chopped roasted poblano pepper.
     Sauté till the onions turn clear in color.
     Step 4:  Add 2 cups of chicken broth.
     Add 1 cup of water.
     Add the reserved black beans to the soup.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of cumin.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of coriander.
     Add sea salt and black pepper to taste.
     Step 5:  Raise the temperature to medium heat.
     Bring the soup to a gentle boil.
     Step 6:  Reduce the temperature to very low heat
     Slowly simmer and reduce till the soup is a medium thin consistency and the beans are very tender.  Whisk the soup occasionally.
     *The mashed beans will thicken the soup.  Add a splash of broth if the soup is too thick.  
     Use a ring mold to place a 1/4 cup portion of anatto seasoned rice in a soup bowl.  (Plain white rice is also traditional for this soup.)
     Ladle 2 cups of the black bean soup in the soup bowl around the rice.
     Sprinkle some fine chopped onion on the rice and soup.
     Serve with 2 ounces of sour cream on the side.
     Cuban Black Bean Soup is great source of nutrition!

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