Earth Fare: Cuban Black Bean Soup

This soup is tasty garnished with raw, chopped, organic red onion and a dollop of organic sour cream or crème fraîche.

| March/April 2006

  • A young guest enjoys a warming bowl of Cuban Black Bean Soup.
    Photo By Jeff Holt

Cuban Black Bean Soup
Serves 6

Claire’s Corner Copia has served this popular soup for nearly 30 years. It’s tasty garnished with raw, chopped, organic red onion and a dollop of organic sour cream or crème fraîche. You should be able to find organic versions of all of these ingredients at your local health-food store.

5 quarts water
12 ounces black turtle beans, sorted for stones
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
10 large cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 bay leaf
1 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped
One 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes in juice, crushed with your hands
1/2 cup brown rice, uncooked
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
Red onion, chopped (for garnish)
Sour cream or crème fraîche (for garnish)

1. Bring water to a boil in a large, heavy, covered pot over high heat. Add beans, olive oil, garlic, pepper flakes, fennel seeds, bay leaf and parsley. Lower heat to medium and cook at a medium boil, uncovered, for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Add tomatoes and continue cooking for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Add rice, salt and pepper. Lower heat to low-medium and cook at a simmer for about 45 minutes to one hour, stirring occasionally until the beans and rice are tender.

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