Monday, November 11, 2013

Cuban Black Bean Soup

I liked this recipe because you add the "accessories" at the end.  Because we were having with lechon asado, I really didn't think the soup needed ham.  I'm not going on a quest to find pumpkin seeds, which I don't like anyway.  And D can cut up red onion for his own and not contaminate my soup.

I made the beginning parts of this; meaning I cut up green pepper, shallots, and onion, and dumped 12 cups of water into a pot with black beans and bay leaves.  The rest D did.  It was pretty easy, but without the accessories a little bland.  D and I discussed putting a ham hock in it next time, and my friend Delane gave me a recipe that split the water with chicken broth.  So both are possibilities for the next time.  (Yes there will be a next time).

Cuban Black Bean Soup

Photo by ALB,
sans ham and pumpkin seed

Inspired by his Cuban mother's black bean soup, Chef Douglas Rodriguez of DeLaCosta restaurant in Chicago developed the robust flavor in this recipe for people who didn't have money to spend on meat for stock. Here we use both fresh and dried oregano because each imparts a different flavor to the final dish.
Yield: 10 servings

2 bay leaves
1 pound dried black beans
12 1/2 cups water, divided
1 tablespoon canola oil
3 1/2 cups chopped green bell pepper (about 3 medium)
2 1/2 cups coarsely chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped shallots (about 2 small)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 cups diced peeled avocado
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 cups thinly sliced red onion
1 1/2 cups chopped 33%-less-sodium smoked, fully cooked ham
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup light sour cream
10 teaspoon unsalted pumpkinseed kernels, toasted
1/3 cup finely chopped seeded jalapeño pepper (about 2 medium)
Lime wedges (optional)

Place bay leaves and beans in a Dutch oven. Add 12 cups water to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 2 1/2 hours or until tender (it ended up being 3+ hours), stirring occasionally.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add bell pepper, chopped onion, and shallots to pan; cook 10 minutes or until onion is tender, stirring frequently. Stir in cumin, dried oregano, and fresh oregano; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes. Place vegetable mixture in a blender; add remaining 1/2 cup water. Puree until smooth.

Add vegetable mixture, sugar, and salt to beans; simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Discard bay leaves. Combine avocado and juice; toss gently. Ladle 3/4 cup bean mixture into each of 10 bowls; top each serving with about 3 tablespoons avocado mixture, about 3 tablespoons red onion, 2 tablespoons ham, about 1 1/2 tablespoons cilantro, about 1 1/2 tablespoons sour cream, 1 teaspoon pumpkinseed kernels, and about 1/2 teaspoon jalapeño pepper. Serve with lime wedges, if desired.

Nutritional Information (with everything) 
Calories: 344; Calories from fat: 31%: Fat: 12g: Saturated fat: 3.4g: Monounsaturated fat: 5.7g: Polyunsaturated fat: 2.3g: Protein: 18.6g: Carbohydrate: 43.9g: Fiber: 14.7g: Cholesterol: 14mg: Iron: 6.1mg: Sodium: 637mg: Calcium: 110mg

Cooking Light JANUARY 2008

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