Over thirty years ago, I had a pureed black bean soup in the states and loved it. I never tried to replicate the recipe while Dolores was alive because she hated black beans so I didn’t cook with them. If I had figured out how to cook “meals for one” thirty years ago, I would have cooked it for myself on those nights that Dolores was craving a steak or pasta. I could live with steak once a week but since there are so many different types of pasta, Dolores could eat a different one every night of the week and claim it was a different meal. She loved pasta.
I stumbled upon a recipe called Caribbean Black Bean soup and must confess, I have never seen it in a restaurant or been served it locally so I am not sure if the recipe is authentic. But it was a recipe for a partially pureed soup which seemed close to the one I remembered from so long ago. However as with most authentic recipes it started with dried beans, and raw vegetables.
Many times when I’m testing a recipe, I tend to take shortcuts. After all, why spend hours making something that is terrible. One of my favorite shortcut is “Recaito” which is a frozen blend of Green Peppers, onions, sweet peppers, garlic, coriander leaf and natural spices. This all natural product is as wholesome as it gets for a shortcut to pealing onions and garlic and dicing all those ingredients.
The other shortcut was to use a can of black beans and since I had an open can of diced tomatoes and chili peppers, I used that instead of tomato paste and black pepper.
Caribbean Black Bean Soup Recipe
1 can black beans 14.5 oz
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
½ cup Recaito (Or small onion, 1 cloves garlic and bell pepper diced)
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp dried oregano
2 heaping tablespoons of diced tomatoes and chilies
1 bay leaf
water as necessary to just cover all ingredients
1 tablespoon sherry
Add the oil and Recaito to the coffeepot and place on the warmer. Add beans with liquid, tomatoes and spices. Add enough water to cover all ingredients and cook covered with aluminum foil.
Cook for 6-8 hours, remove the Bay Leaf, and use a blender to puree the soup. Return to the pot and keep warm. Add the sherry prior to serving. Garnish with a sprig of parsley and a dollop of sour cream.
The soup was fantastic and since it’s about three months since I prepared it, I just went out and purchased some dried black beans so I can try it the old fashioned way. Realistically, it’s more work and you cant get better than fantastic, so I must be glutton for punishment. I almost forgot this flavorful soup is vegetarian.