Cuban Black Bean Soup


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Cuban Black Bean Soup


Bringing a garnish along on a picnic may seem fussy, but since eating is also a visual experience, why leave your soup undressed on the trail? Just fill a re-usable container with layers of garnish ingredients, ready to spoon over each steaming cupful. It’s a quick way to coax even more satisfaction from this hearty, aromatic soup.

  • Serves: 8
  • Course: Lunch



  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil
  • 4 cloves  garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) ground cumin
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup (250 ml) diced cooked ham (optional)
  • 2 large, ripe tomatoes, peeled and diced (see Tip, below)
  • 4 cups (1 L) chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 cans (each 14 oz/398 ml)  black beans, rinsed and drained
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • ¾ cup (175 ml) dark rum


  • 1 avocado, diced and tossed lightly with 1 tbsp (15 ml) lemon juice
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
  • 3 tbsp (45 ml) chopped parsley


  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook until just starting to brown. Add onion, green pepper, and carrots. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened.
  2. Add cumin, oregano, bay leaf, and ham (if using), and stir to combine evenly. Add tomatoes, stock, and beans. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
  3. Add rum and reduce heat. Simmer for 20 minutes, until vegetables are soft. Remove bay leaf. Pour soup into a preheated thermos (see Tips, below).
  4. To serve, garnish each cupful with avocado and lemon juice, green onion, egg, and parsley to taste.
  5. Tip
  6. To peel tomatoes, cut a shallow X in the bottom of each. Plunge into boiling water for about 30 seconds, then remove with a slotted spoon. When cool enough to handle, slip off the skin.

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