Cuban black bean soup

Total Time
1 hr 47 min
17 min
1 hr 30 min
Black beans are a staple food in Cuba and other islands of the Caribbean. This spicy soup is served with chopped fresh tomatoes, onion, cilantro, and a dollop of yogurt, adding a welcome touch of color, crunch, and coolness. The technique of pureeing some of the soup, then returning it to the pot, is an easy way of thickening the soup and creating a creamy consistency. Bean soups keep well in the refrigerator for up to three days or in the freezer for up to three months. The flavors are even better after standing. When reheating, thin with a little extra water, if necessary.


Dry black beans

8 oz, picked over, rinsed, and drained

Hot water

4 cup(s), boiling

Olive oil

2 tsp

Uncooked celery

2 rib(s), medium, thinly sliced

Uncooked onion(s)

1 large, chopped


3 medium clove(s), minced

Chili powder

2 tsp

Ground cumin

½ tsp

Dried ground coriander

½ tsp

Vegetable broth

6 cup(s), low sodium

Hot pepper sauce

½ tsp

Sherry cooking wine

1 Tbsp, (optional)

Fresh tomato(es)

½ cup(s), ripe, chopped

Uncooked red onion(s)

½ cup(s), sliced, chopped

Plain lowfat yogurt

¼ cup(s)


¼ cup(s), fresh, chopped


  1. Combine the beans and boiling water in a large bowl. Cover with a plate and let stand 1 hour; drain.
  2. Heat the oil in a nonstick Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the celery, onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, and coriander. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are lightly browned and fragrant, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the soaked beans, the broth, and the hot pepper sauce; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the beans are tender, about 1 1⁄4 hours. Transfer 2 cups of the bean soup to a food processor or blender and puree. Return to the Dutch oven. Stir in the sherry, if using.
  4. Serve the soup with bowls of the tomato, red onion, yogurt, and cilantro as garnishes. Yields 1⁄3 cups soup and 1⁄4 of toppings per serving.