Cook: Best-Ever Cuban Black Bean Soup Over White Rice
Impress your family and friends with this pot of black gold!
Black bean soup is a go-to recipe for many Hispanic and Latino/x families, and it’s no wonder why. Black beans are cheap and super healthy. Plus, this recipe is simple, vegan, and ri-ri-rico! Give it a try – they’re un-bean-lievably good.
By Lindsay López-Isa Lamken
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 10 cups water
- 1 pound (16 oz.) dried black beans*
- 5 – 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 green pepper (diced)
- 1 large onion (diced)
- 4 cloves of garlic (minced)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ¼ teaspoon oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons white cooking wine
- 1 tablespoon cooking sherry
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
*Don’t use canned beans! (Trust us, it ruins the magic.)
Let’s get this party started:
Soak the beans overnight in a pot with 10 cups of water. The next day, take the pot with the beans and water and put it (uncovered) on the stovetop to cook at a medium boil for 45 minutes. While the beans are cooking, dice the green pepper and onion and mince the garlic and then fry them together in about 5 – 6 tablespoons of olive oil until the onions are soft and a bit see-through. (Be careful not to burn or brown the onions.) Then set aside.
When the 45 minutes are up, scoop 1 cup of beans out of the pot onto a plate and mash them with a fork. Put the mashed beans back in the pot together with the fried onion, pepper, and garlic mix. Add the sugar, oregano, bay leaf, salt, and pepper and keep cooking with the lid off at a low boil for another hour. Stir the beans every ten minutes or so. Check to make sure the heat is not too high and the beans are not sticking to the bottom of the pot.
When the hour is up, add the sherry, vinegar, and cooking wine. Then cover the pot, put the heat on low, and simmer for another hour until the beans are nice and soft and the soup has thickened. (If the beans are still watery at the end of the hour, take off the lid and keep cooking them on low heat until they get to the thickness you want.) Serve with white rice (try the Presto-Magic White Rice recipe below).
“Presto-Magic” White Rice
If you have a glass or ceramic* baking dish with a lid, you will want to try this recipe that uses a microwave (instead of the stovetop). It’s way easier and the rice never burns or sticks to the bottom! Just measure 1 part rice to two parts water and put them together in the glass dish. (So, for ½ cup of rice, use 1 cup of water; for 1 cup of rice, use 2 cups of water, and so on.) Add a pat of butter and some salt (or garlic salt . . . mmmm) if you want. Cover the dish and pop it in the microwave for 5 minutes at full power.
Then set the microwave at half power (50%/level 5) for another 15 minutes. Pull out the dish, uncover, and stir up the rice with a fork. Enjoy your fluffy, magical creation.
* Please don’t use a plastic container (even if it says it’s microwave safe) – it may melt or leach out chemicals into your rice.
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