A deep flavorful and soulful black bean soup that is guaranteed to chase away your deepest winter blues.
The traditional Cuban Black Bean Soup uses a ham hock to create depth of flavor. I personally think that working with slow cooked beans, spices and other natural ingredients helps you boost up the flavor profile without the meat. Meat has its place but not in a deep comforting pot of beans. Adding the soy sauce to the base added a depth of rich smokiness without any clashing of other tastes and looks like the kids now have a new favorite. Here is a more traditional version, but mine has more spicy goodness and the kids love it.
All of that goodness in this Cuban Black Black Soup, gets topped with a lime crema and minced carrot chimichurri. And, this recipe can be kept vegan by using vegan sour cream, so there, all you need to do is believe me when I tell you that the flavors are deep rich and compatible. The deep creaminess of the soup is created by cooking the beans for a long time, and yes, if you are like me you will probably use your pressure cooker and cut down on the cooking time. However, to get this right I did cook this for almost an hour in the pressure cooker.
- 3 tablespoons oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 4 to 6 cloves of garlic
- 1 small to medium bell pepper diced
- 1 carrot, finely diced
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon red cayenne pepper
- 3 tomatoes, diced (can be subbed with ½ can or jarred tomato with juices)
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce (I used the Kikkoman brand)
- ¾ cup of dried black beans (soaked for about 4 hours, see note)
- 4 cups of water
- 2 tablespoons sour cream or yogurt
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 medium sized carrot, minced
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- ½ teaspoon red cayenne pepper
- Heat the oil and add in the onion and saute for about 4 to 5 minutes. Add in the garlic and the bell pepper and saute for another 2 minutes until soft. If you plan on using the pressure cooker for this, you can do this at the base of the pressure cooker.
- Add in the carrot, ground cumin, red cayenne pepper and the tomatoes and cook for 3 minutes. Add in the vinegar and the soy sauce and carefully mix in the sofritto or seasoning mix.
- Add in the black beans and the water and bring to a simmer. If using a pressure cooker, cover and cook under pressure for 45 minutes. On the stovetop, cover and cook on low heat for 3 to 4 hours. You want the beans to begin breaking down to give the soup a deep rich and naturally creamy texture.
- If you are pressure cooking, cool remove the cover and mix well. Simmer uncovered for about 5 to 7 minutes until thick and creamy.
- To make the sour cream or yogurt topping, beat the sour cream with a tablespoon of water and lime juice.
- Mix the carrots with the cilantro, red cayenne pepper and remaining lime juice.
- To serve, place into bowls, drizzle with the sour cream topping and sprinkle with the carrot mixture and serve.
- If you absolutely do not have time to pre-soak the beans, fret not. Cook them a longer, about 10 minutes in the pressure cooker and 45 minutes on the stove top.