Cuban Black Bean Soup   

This is the deep rich color of the finished soup

As promised, I made Cuban Black Bean Soup for the first time ever.  

Everyone at work loved it! Therefore, I am posting the recipe not having to make any changes in what we ate and what you can now enjoy. I hope you do get to enjoy this rich tasting treat maybe with a Cuban sandwich.

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

Cuban Black Bean Soup   

Serves 6 – 8

SPECIAL IMPLEMENTS

Large Pot

Food Processor or blender

INGREDIENTS

3 large green peppers

2 large red peppers

1 small yellow onion

1 large Spanish onion

1 head of garlic (10 cloves)

2 plum tomatoes (Diced)

16 ounces of black beans,

1 can of black beans

1 smoked ham hock

2 bay leaves

1 tablespoon salt, or to taste

1 tablespoon Better then Bouillon

¼ cup olive oil

4 slices thick bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 jalapeño, stemmed and finely chopped

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 bunch fresh Cilantro

1/ 2 bunch Italian parsley 

½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar

1 tablespoon brown sugar

DIRECTIONS

1. Slice and dice the thick cut bacon. Fry in the bottom of a Dutch oven or heavy stock pot. Cook, on medium as not to burn any of it, stirring occasionally. Cook just until it starts to brown, about 5 minutes.

2. While the bacon slowly renders make a sofrito. Cut red and green peppers into 1 inch pieces. Dice one small yellow onion. Peel and chop all but 6 cloves of the garlic. Dice 1 jalapeño pepper (seeds removed). Dice the two tomatoes. You only have to chop the ingredients small enough sizes to fit into a food processor or blender. You don’t have to dice them finely, as you will be processing them. Focus more on removing the seeds from the peppers and any stems from the parsley and cilantro that might become grit in the finished sofrito. Place the chopped ingredients into a food processor or blender. You can process in this batches if your food processor isn’t big enough to accommodate everything at once. Pulse food processor until to resembles a thick pesto. Add salt and black pepper to taste.

3. Once the bacon is brown and the safrito in made add olive oil to your pot. Add the remaining diced green and red pepper and Spanish onion. Cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Pour in the vinegar and scrape any browned bits from bottom of pan with a wooden spoon.

4. Smash and peel the remaining 4 cloves of the garlic cloves. Put the rest of green pepper and garlic into a large pot with the beans, ham hock, bay leaves and 1-tablespoon salt. Add 2 quarts of chicken stock (or water and Better the Bouillon)and bring to a boil. Cover the pot and simmer until the beans are tender, an hour or more.

When the beans are cooked, discard both bay leafs. Remove and set aside the ham hock and let it cool. open can of black beans, mash 1/2 of them into a paste and return all of then to the pot. Add the sofrito, then the sugar. Pull the meat from the ham hock, leaving behind any white sinew or gristle. Chop the ham into ½-inch or smaller pieces and return it to the bean pot (I just took mine out and discarded it).

4. Stir the beans well and bring to a boil over medium heat, then lower to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes or so, skimming any foam from the top. Taste for salt and serve with white rice.

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

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