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
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- To serve, garnish each cupful with avocado and lemon juice, green onion, egg, and parsley to taste.
- 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.