Cuban Black Bean Soup

Last week John and I made a pork shoulder, and then used some of the leftovers to make pasta with pork and mustard cream sauce (success!). This week, in an effort to keep from wasting food, we used the bone from the shoulder to make this black bean soup, or, "The most amazing black beans I've ever had."

Also, look how photogenic our colander is.

To be fair, I have to give John the credit for this recipe, since he basically made the entire thing while I was in class. I picked the recipe, and washed the beans the night before. Other than that, it was magically done by the time I got home from school on Monday.

It's so incredibly good. I didn't even think black beans were any big deal until I had this soup. Sure, I like them on a taco, they're great in other soups, and maybe it's the magic of the ham bone, but this is a truly great soup. It also made the pork shoulder from last week an even more economic purchase, since we used the bone.
We served this with rice, as suggested below, and half an avocado each (score! This week was the first time we've been able to find decent, affordable avocados in Canada).

Cuban Black Bean Soup
from The Kitchn

1 package of dried black beans - 1 or 2 pounds, your choice
1 onion
1 green bell pepper
3 cloves garlic
1 ham bone or smoked ham hock
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup white vinegar
Salt & pepper to taste

The night before, place beans in a colander and wash them with cold running water. Pick out any rocks or beans that are broken or shriveled. Add the beans to a large soup pot with a lid and cover with enough cold water so that it reaches one inch over the top of the beans.

The next day, drain the water out of the pot and refill with clean cold water an inch off the top. Add the onion and pepper, chopped, to the pot along with the garlic minced or pressed. Add the bone, the olive oil, and the salt and pepper.

Bring to a boil. Skim off any foam, then reduce heat and simmer for 4 to 5 hours, covered, until the beans are soft and the soup is creamy, not watery. It shouldn't get dry and stew-y, but if it does, add a cup or so more water. The consistency should be velvety and it should coat the back of a spoon.

Add the vinegar and simmer for 15 minutes more. The vinegar is the secret ingredient; it makes the soup more creamy and gives it a little "tang."

Serve over rice (optional) and garnish with chopped raw onions and sour cream.


  1. Could John make that for me sometime next week?

  2. I love cooking, but it is nice to come home to dinner already prepared! This looks great.

  3. I tend not to hire him out. Don't want him getting any ideas.

  4. we're trying a variation that uses stock instead of hambone as a way to cut out the meat eating part of this recipe.