Saturday, February 2, 2013

Caribbean Bean Soup

What is a Caribbean bean? Well the most popular beans in Caribbean cooking are black beans and red beans. However, this soup isn't only about the beans; it uses several other Caribbean flavors: garlic, cumin, lime, and cilantro.

Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 jalapeno chilies, seeded and minced
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 cans chicken broth
  • 2 cans black or red beans, or one pound of cooked dried beans
Toppings
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 lime, cut into 6 wedges
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Sweat the onion, carrots, jalapeno, and garlic with the salt, pepper, and cumin. Cook, stirring frequently for 10-15 minutes, until the carrot has softened (do not let the vegetables brown, turn heat to medium-low if necessary). Meanwhile, puree the beans with the chicken broth in a blender*. Add to the softened vegetable mixture. Raise heat to medium until simmering. Reduce to medium-low and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add more salt and pepper to taste and serve in soup bowls, topping with sour cream and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.

*Note: If you like the texture of whole beans in your soup, only puree half of the beans with the broth. Add the un-pureed beans to the soup as soon as you add the bean/broth mixture.

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