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slow cooking American, Cuban
 Black Bean Soup

Photo by: Joseph De Leo
Comments: 5


My idea of a perfect lunch on a snowy afternoon is a big bowl of spicy black bean soup accompanied by a couple thick slices of banana bread.

Yield: Makes 8 to 10 servings


  • 8 ounces sliced bacon, diced
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 carrots, peeled and minced
  • 4 ribs celery, minced
  • 3 jalapeño chiles, stemmed, seeded, and diced
  • ¼ cup ground cumin
  • ¼ cup dried oregano
  • 1 pound black turtle beans, soaked overnight in water
  • 3½ to 4 quarts chicken broth, preferably homemade
  • ½ cup fresh lime juice
  • ½ cup cream sherry
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • ½ cup minced cilantro (fresh coriander)
  • Sour cream for garnish


1. Cook the bacon in a large stockpot over medium-high heat until it begins to crisp. Remove it with a slotted spoon and set aside to drain on paper towels.

2. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, and celery to the bacon fat in the pot; sauté, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Stir in the jalapeños and cook 5 minutes more. Stir in the cumin and oregano.

3. Rinse and drain the black beans and add to the stockpot. Cover with 3½ quarts chicken broth. Simmer uncovered until the beans are very tender and beginning to fall apart, about 2 hours. Thin with additional broth if the mixture seems to be getting too thick.

4. Stir in the lime juice, and sherry, and reserved bacon. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Just before serving, swirl in the cilantro. Serve piping hot in bowls garnished with a dollop of sour cream.

© 1990 Sarah Leah Chase

Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

This recipe serves 10. Nutritional information includes 1 teaspoon of added salt, but does not include Sour Cream for garnish.

402kcal (20%)
135mg (13%)
11mg (19%)
332mcg RAE (11%)
22mg (7%)
811mg (34%)
4g (22%)
14g (22%)
5mg (29%)

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  • Jezebel

    09.18.11 Flag comment

    Keeping in mind the other comments, I halved this recipe the first time I made it, and then cut way down on the cumin, oregano and lime juice that it called for. The result was delicious, I'll definitely make it again.

    Had I made it exactly as written, I would have had a huge pot of seriously overspiced (and inedible) soup. Thanks to the other commenters it was a successful and very tasty experiment.

  • venturgirl

    09.29.10 Flag comment

    This soup was a huge disappointment. I didn't like the flavor profile, I didn't like the consistency of the soup. Definitely too much cumin and oregano. Also, I would suggest chopping or dicing the vegetables and a longer time in the pot before adding the other ingredients. Did not work for me at all.

  • Saranardo

    11.12.09 Flag comment

    i did not care for this soup, ended up tasting sour due to the lime juice and sherry, as well as quite a bit of cumin. also it made a TON of soup. I would make 1/2 or even 1/4 of this amount for the first time making this soup, just to make sure you like it.

  • Saranardo

    10.18.09 Flag comment

    yeah, i ended up putting in half the amts of cumin and oregano, and then working to take them out again... too much.

  • swillson

    10.15.09 Flag comment

    This recipe looks yummy - except I'm a little concerned that the amount of Oregano and Cumin called for will overcome the other flavors.


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