Monday, November 17, 2014


Here is a recipe from south of the border . . . way south . . . all the way to Cuba.

3 cups dried black beans
1 qt water

3 T extra-light olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, cut into 2 or 3 pieces
1 jalapeno, split and seeded
1 bunch of cilantro, long stems cut off

Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 t dried oregano
¼ t allspice
2 T ground cumin
½ t coriander
½ t turmeric
2 bay leaves
1 small smoked ham hock
2 qts chicken broth

Sour cream
4 scallions, chopped
Lime wedges, for garnish
Cilantro sprigs, for garnish

Rinse and sort beans, discarding any foreign material. 
Combine beans and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil for 2 minutes.  
Cover and set aside for at least 8 hours. You can also do this overnight.

In a skillet, add the oil and sauté the onion, celery, garlic, and jalapeno for 10 minutes.
When cool, spoon into a food processor along with most of the cilantro, leaving some for garnish, and process.

Drain the beans and discard the water. Add the beans to a large soup pot or Dutch oven.
Add the ham hock, chicken stock, and processed vegetables.
Add the spices and simmer, partially covered, for 3 hours.

To serve, remove the bay leaves and ham hock.
Ladle the soup into warm soup bowls.

Place a dollop of sour cream on top of each bowl of soup. 
Garnish with some scallions, fresh cilantro, and a lime wedge on the side.

Serves 4