Cuban Black Bean Soup

I started teaching Cuban cooking classes long before I actually traveled to Cuba.  I had been to a Cuban restaurant in Miami, and also New York City.  I loved the menu and food so much, I knew I had to study and try the cuisine at home.  After visiting Cuba, I realized this recipe is actually more complex than any black bean soup I ate there, but I still love this recipe, and it’s worth the extra effort.

Cuban Black Bean Soup.jpg

Main ingredients:
1 pound dried black beans
½ pound fresh chorizo link sausages, casings removed
½ pound sliced bacon, cut crosswise into ¼-inch-wide strips
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. ground cumin
4 cups (or more) chicken broth
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice

Extra ingredients:
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Sour cream

Method:
Place beans in heavy large pot.  Add enough cold water to cover beans by 2 inches.  Let sit 5-6 hours, and drain beans.  Return to same pot and add 8 cups cold water.  Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until beans are tender, 1 ½ to 2 hours.  Drain beans.  Heat same pot over medium heat.  Add chorizo and bacon and cook until chorizo is brown and bacon is crisp.   Add onions and next 4 ingredients.  Cook until onion is translucent, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes.  Add 4 cups broth, tomatoes with juice, and beans.  Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer 20 minutes for flavors to blend.  Cool slightly. 

Working in batches, coarsely puree half the soup in processor (or blender) using on/off turns.  Return puree to pot and add more broth, if needed.

Bring soup to boil and simmer 3 minutes.  Stir in ½ cup chopped cilantro.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve with sour cream.

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