Sunday, March 4, 2012

Cuban Black Bean Soup

Cuban Black Bean Soup With Cilantro Lime Rice and Avocado
Black Bean Soup is deliciously nutritious, comforting and filling as only bean soups can be. The aromatic vegetable mixture known as soffrito, a melange of coarsely chopped onion, celery and carrots enrich the soup with flavor and color. In addition to the soffrito, the soup is full of bits of red bell pepper, sweet corn kernels, tomatoes and redolent with freshly ground cumin and oregano. If you like garlic, you may add a clove or two after the onions have cooked for about 5 minutes.

Although it will not taste as good, canned black beans may be substituted for the freshly cooked. Do use the smoked paprika for its wonderful flavor. For a fantastic and complete meal serve the Black Bean Soup with a scoop of lime and cilantro scented rice.

4-6 Servings

Ingredients:

1 cup dry Black Beans
1-2 sprigs fresh Oregano
1 whole Red Dried Chile
1 Tbsp Oil
2 ribs Celery, chopped
1 medium Onion, chopped
1-2 medium Carrots, chopped
1 Red Bell Pepper, diced
1 cup fresh or frozen Corn Kernels
4-5 Ripe Tomatoes, chopped
2 tsp freshly ground Cumin seeds
1 tsp dried Oregano, crushed
1 tsp Smoked Paprika
2 tsp Sea Salt
1/2 cup Cilantro, finely chopped

Toppings:

Diced Avocado
Rice with lime juice and cilantro
Tortilla chips
Shredded Cheese
Sour Cream
Cilantro leaves
Diced Onions
Finely diced Jalapenos

Method:

Pick over the beans, wash well and soak overnight in fresh water to cover.

Drain the beans and cook in fresh water to cover until soft with the chile and oregano sprigs. Alternately use a pressure cooker to make quick work of cooking the beans. Remove and discard the chile and herb sprigs when the beans are cool.

Heat the oil in a large soup pot and cook the celery, onions, and the carrots until the onion is translucent.

Add the corn and red pepper along with the beans and their cooking liquid. Add hot water if necessary to get the right consistency.

Stir in the paprika, cumin and oregano.

Simmer the soup gently for about 20 to 30 minutes stirring occasionally.

When the veggies are tender, turn off the heat.

Serve hot with cilantro. Offer the toppings in bowls so each person can add their favorites. Enjoy!!

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