Being Latin I was exposed to the most delicious food as a child. Being a perpetual traveler exposes me to variations of those recipes from my childhood and more! Enjoy this week’s installment of Gastronome Wednesday ~ Cuban Black Bean Soup Recipe
Gastronome Wednesday ~ Cuban Black Bean Soup Recipe
My mother loved to cook and she never limited herself to one specific type of food. She was of European background and my father was of Spanish background and some of the fusion dishes my mother created where awesome.
As a military family we had friends from all ethnicities. I enjoyed many wonderful dishes from German to Ethiopian to Mexican. One of my favorite foods is Cuban. It’s very similar to my Spanish heritage with delicious differences.
The below recipe is from my friend’s Cuban grandmother. I hope you enjoy it!
Cuban Black Bean Soup Recipe
This recipe will serve 8 people or more
1 pound dried black beans
1 finely chopped medium onion
1 finely chopped green bell pepper
3 finely chopped garlic cloves
1 ham bone or smoked ham hock
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste
1/3 cup white or cider vinegar
Chopped raw onion
Chopped red pepper
To make the Cuban Black Bean Soup Recipe authentic it’s recommended to use dried beans. It can be made with canned black beans but the taste is markedly different. After washing and carefully picking out the bad beans and rocks that are often packaged with the dried beans, soak them overnight by putting them in a large stock pot. The water should cover the beans by an inch. Place the top on the pot and leave it overnight.
The next day, drain the water out of the pot and refill halfway with clean cold water and the rest of the way with either chicken stock or vegetable stock, again adding enough water to cover the beans by an inch. Add the chopped onion, pepper, and garlic, ham bone or hock, and stir in the olive oil. Add the salt to taste and black pepper.
Bring to a boil over high heat. Skim off any white foam, then reduce the heat to low and cover. Simmer for 4 to 5 hours, until the beans are very soft and the soup is creamy, not watery making sure to check every hour or so. If the beans seem dry or thick, add another cup of water. The final consistency should be velvety and thick, and the soup should coat the back of a spoon. (The beans will soften in the first two hours. The goal is to continue cooking the soup until some of the beans break down and create the smooth, thick soup base.)
When the soup is nearly finished, stir in the vinegar and simmer for an additional 15 minutes, uncovered. Pull the ham bone out of the pot — the meat that hasn’t already fallen off should be easy to pick off; roughly chop and return the meat to the pot.
Serve over rice (optional) and garnish with chopped raw onions and sour cream. My friends also fry up some plantains to serve on the side.
This Cuban black bean soup recipe is perfect for freezing!
Do you have a favorite Cuban black bean soup recipe? Have you ever tried it? Share your experiences with us!