Cuban black bean soup

Origin: various recipes on the internet

As I understand it, the basic recipe is:

  • Soften vegetables
  • Add chicken stock, beans (dried; soaked overnight and rinsed) and ham
  • Simmer for a few hours until the beans are tender
  • Add seasonings
  • Mash or blend

I fried some streaky bacon (4 rashers) in plenty of olive oil, then set this aside, added 4 onions and 3 sticks of celery chopped and softened them. I then added some chicken stock to cover (homemade, see an earlier entry on this blog, the soaked beans (500g), 150g of chopped ham, and simmered for about 2 hours. I then roasted a tablespoon of cumin seeds, pounded them in a pestle and mortar and added that, along with some salt and cayenne pepper, to the soup. Cooked for another 10 minutes. Finally, I partially pureed it using an electric hand blender. This left some whole beans as well as some roughly and finely pureed bits, a nice combination of textures.

In my opinion, it's best served with a slice of lemon in the bowl.