Caribbean Style Black Bean Soup

Caribbean Style Black Bean Soup

In the midst of boring wintertime Chicago weather, the yearning for something (somewhere) warm and tropical is likely to come up from time to time. I love this soup because it’s warm and hearty, yet has bright flavors that liven up your palate.

In the midst of boring wintertime Chicago weather, the yearning for something (somewhere) warm and tropical is likely to come up from time to time. I love this soup because it’s warm and hearty, yet has bright flavors that liven up your palate. I’ve found that most black bean soup recipes lean on the tex-mex side, and this is great a way to switch up the infamous legume. 

When I think the carribean, I think spicy, but not the kind of hot where every bite is a small round of hot torture with a dash of flavor. I find jalapenos and red chillis give just the right amount of heat to this dish as opposed to a scotch bonnet, which is more traditional (remember, we’re not here for torture, ha). If you’re not a fan of the heat, simply de-seed your chilis or omit them altogether. Curry leaves, a traditional ingredient in many west-indian, trinidadian and indian and southeast asian cuisines. They are not a deal-breaker, but they make a noticeable difference in your soup.   You can find them fresh at most asian markets or online dried.  

I’ve tried this recipe with both dried and canned black beans to see if there was much of a difference in flavor. The answer is most definitely. I believe the dry beans make such a difference simply because the flavors of the soup have more time to infuse into the bean themselves. If you’re in a pinch, however, canned beans work just fine. 

This recipe is 100% meal prep friendly and can be made to store in the fridge for up to 5 days, and the freezer for up to 4 months. 

Caribbean Style Black Bean Soup

Prep Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr 45 mins
Course: appetizers, dinner, lunch, sides
Cuisine: Caribbean
Keyword: Black beans, Caribbean, gluten free, soup series, vegan, vegetarian
Yield: 4 people

Equipment

  • Cutting Board
  • Chef's Knife
  • Stock Pot
  • Measuring Cups

Ingredients

Black Beans (one or the other)

  • 2 cups black beans soaked overnight
  • 3 cans black beans drained and rinsed

Remaining Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small red onion small diced
  • 1 red bell pepper small diced
  • 1 yellow/orange bell pepper small diced
  • 1 green jalapeño seeded and small diced (optional)
  • 1 red chill seeded and small diced (optional)
  • 3 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1/4 cup cilantro (leaves and stems) chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 curry leaf (optional)
  • 1.5 quart water or vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • tt salt and pepper
  • cilantro, onion jalapeno for garnish

Instructions

  • Drain soaked black beans and set aside. Or rinse and drain three 14 oz cans cooked black beans.
  • In a medium saucepan add one tablespoon of oil, is bring to medium-low heat. Add onion, garlic bell peppers jalapeno and chili's and begin to saute until vegetables begin to soften and onions turn translucent about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Next, add cayenne pepper and coriander gently stir to incorporate spices. Add black beans, water and bring to a simmer. And reduce pot to low heat, and add bay leaf, cilantro and optional curry leaf. Cover and cook until black beans are tender, about 30-45 minutes if using soaked beans, in 15-20 minutes if using canned.
  • Remove the pot from heat and adjust seasoning. serve immediately, garnished with cilantro red onion and jalapenos (optional).

Notes

If you like a thicker soup, use a potato masher or immersion blender to gently mash or blend a small portion of the beans. 

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