Thursday, June 21, 2018

Cuban Black Bean Soup @LucyBurdette #recipe

LUCY BURDETTE: Now I'm really beginning to get excited about the launch of DEATH ON THE MENU, as it will hit bookshelves everywhere in 41 days! (Yoda's excited too, can't you tell?) Today's recipe comes courtesy of Hayley Snow's mother Janet, who serves small cups of authentic black bean soup at one of the Havana/Key West conference events that she is catering. By now, both a murder and a major theft have occurred, so some of the guests are too upset to enjoy the soup. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't!

All the most authentic Cuban black bean soup recipes I came across shared two things: First soaking the beans in a pot the day before you plan to cook, along with an onion and a green pepper. And second, cooking these vegetables along with the beans, and then pureeing and adding them back into the soup. I was dubious, but I followed these instructions and was very happy with the results.


1 pound dried black beans
One onion, peeled and halved
One green pepper, halved
Two bay leaves

¼ to ½ tsp salt

1 diced onion
1 diced green pepper
2 jalapeno peppers, diced
4 cloves garlic, diced
Olive oil
2 cups good beef stock
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tablespoon sugar
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar

Sort and wash the beans. Cover them with water in a big pot, along with the onion, pepper, and bay leaves and refrigerate overnight. Next day, simmer until tender, up to an hour. Stir in a little salt—1/2 to 1 teaspoon to taste.

Make the sofrito:

Sauté one large diced onion, one diced green pepper, two jalapeños diced, four minced cloves garlic in a couple of tablespoons olive oil. Until soft. Stir in 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, and add all this to the beans.

Remove the bay leaves. Take the mushy onion and green pepper along with 2 cups of beans and process them in a blender until smooth. Add this back into the pot along with 2 cups of chicken or beef stock. Add 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar. Simmer another 30 minutes, though the dish can go longer.

Serve with white rice, sour cream, hot sauce, and cilantro.



more chopping


so hard to get a good photo of black bean soup!

Do you enjoy Instagram? It's my new obsession. Please follow me if you're active!

Death on the Menu, the 8th Key West food critic mystery, will hit bookstores on August 7 from Crooked Lane Books. 

Here's a pre-order the book link from Amazon--and here's a link to preorder a hard copy from RJ Julia in CT, where you'll be able to get a signed copy. 

Or you can order it from Books and Books in Key West, or call Suzanne Orchard at Key West Island Bookstore ((305) 294-2904)--she'll be delighted to order you a copy! 

Or really, wherever books are sold...


  1. Thank you for the recipe. Congratulations on the new book!

  2. Quick cook the beans in the soaking liquid??
    I am looking forward to your new book!!!

    1. I wondered the same thing. It appears so.

    2. Yes, that's what I did. so you don't lose the flavor.

  3. I love black bean soup. This recipe looks good. I'm going to give it a try. Congratulations on your book.

  4. I was thinking about making soup this weekend. This may be the one!

    It is unusual to use the soaking liquid. I'd always thought that using fresh water helped reduce the bean gassiness.

    Looking forward to the next "trip" to Key West with you.

    1. Exactly, that's what I always thought. But this was delish! thanks Libby

  5. Recipe sounds great. Looking forward to the new book.

  6. Hmmm. I wonder if blending the green pepper will disguise it enough that my husband won't notice it. This looks really good!

  7. I can't wait to try this! I love black beans and rice. There used to be somethiing in a packet that was very good but I don't see it anymore so I kinda make my own. I believe the trick is in knowing what seasonings to use and now you've given me some good ideas.
    BTW, I think Hayley's Mom, as written, comes across as very authenic!

    1. thanks for the kind words Judi! Janet will be pleased.

      I've given up on using packets of anything because they are usually loaded with sodium...

  8. I'm going to have to give that recipe a try. It sounds tasty.
    That tuxedo cat is so cute. I used to have a really adorable tuxedo (RIP Emily the cat. I miss you so much)

    1. I'm so sorry about Emily. It's awful to lose one of our furry friends.

  9. This soup looks & sounds tasty.