Monday, April 8, 2013

From The Kitchen: Cuban Black Bean Soup

As Good As Soup Gets
I remember the first time I heard of black bean soup. My Dad and I were at a local standby, The Loaf and Ladle in Exeter. I'm not even sure why we were there because this was not a common outing for us. As soon as my Dad saw black bean soup on the menu, his decision was made. Me? Not so fast. That soup is black? Are you sure that's what you want?
Somewhere along the way I tried it and I gotta tell ya, I love the stuff. We love the stuff. It's just so good.
Now, photographing black food (it's really sort of brown, but either way it's dark) and making it look good enough to devour isn't the easiest thing to do.
Can you just trust me on this one? Truly. This is good soup.

I've cooked this soup a number of different ways, and if I'd had a ham hock on hand, I probably would have used that as the stock base, but since I didn't, this is how it worked itself out this time.

Cuban Black Bean Soup
{crock pot style}

14 oz bag of dried black beans
6 -8 cups of chicken stock or vegetable stock
One large onion, diced small
3 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
Palmful of chopped fresh cilantro
3 tbs of cumin
1 tbs of saffron
Salt and pepper

Put dried beans in crock pot and cover with chicken stock so that liquid is about inch above the beans. Reserve rest of liquid and add during cooking.  Add onion, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper. Set on high and let cook for a couple of hours, checking and stirring occasionally.  If all liquid has been soaked up, add more and do so each time beans have absorbed all liquid. When beans are simmering and getting softer, turn down to low.  Add cilantro, saffron and rest of liquid and cook half hour longer.  If you want a thinner consistency soup you can add more stock if you like.  Serve with dollop of sour cream and a little chopped fresh cilantro.

Makes 6 - 8 servings

Oh. Hell. Yeah.

I like to add the fresh cilantro after the other spices because I think it allows the cumin and saffron flavors to develop. Then when you add the cilantro, it adds another completely different layer of fresh flavor.


Sunset Meadows

I don't know what it is about the weather or the temperatures this week, but the sunsets have been pretty impressive.  Last night's included. Another free show that lasted for more than an hour. I called my Mom to tell her to check it out, but it was kind of a low sunset because it was hanging below clouds. She couldn't see what I was seeing, but now she can and so can you.

You need a break, don't you? Sit back, relax and take it all in.

Ah. Isn't that better?
Hope you enjoyed your weekend. Ours was filled with bookwork (yuk and which still isn't quite complete), time with the neighbors, and good steaks on the BBQ.  We wanted to have a campfire but the winds have been wicked, so it was a no go on that plan.  Did you do anything special or did you hang close to home?
Make it a great Monday. Let's start the week off with a bang.
Ciao for now,



  1. Beautiful sunset!

  2. nothing better than a beautiful sunset after a full and productive day. I may have to try that soup. we are trying to eat healthier and more can goods, unless I've canned it myself.

    1. that's the way to go Debbi........then you know exactly what's in it instead of ingredients you can't pronounce. and if you buy local and/or organic.........even better. no sneaking GMOs in there!

  3. wow..that soup looks good!! I have to try it. I've never had black bean soup. I'm sure it would be good with some tortillas and salsa. We didn't do much this weekend. We went on a nice hike Saturday morning and then just hung out around the home.

    1. salsa and tortillas for sure!

      a hike.........I'm antsy to get onto the trails by our house. just think they're probably mucky at the moment, which wouldn't be a problem if they were flat. But they're quite hilly (which is why I love them) and I don't want to end up on my butt sliding downhill!

  4. That soup looks awesome. I love black beans. We'll have to try it.

    1. well, if you're already a black bean girl, it's a must.

  5. Replies
    1. the leftovers were pretty good to Reshma.

      the sun has been so bright at the beginning of the sunsets this week. and then they've gone on and on and lovely

  6. Wow! I love, love, love your sunset pictures. Miami has beautiful sunsets but there is something about looking at those pictures, it really makes you slow down and take it in. Thank you for sharing them :)

    We stayed close to home this weekend. Olivia got to ride her new bike our family signed up for the CureSearch walk for children's cancer as a way to extend her birthday celebration.

  7. I don't think there has been a bad one this week. Truly my moment of the day when I stop, and just gaze across Sunset Meadows and take it all in.

    A new bike!!! She must be psyched. and what an awesome way to extend the birthday making a difference. very cool.


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