Sopa de Frijoles Negros (Black Bean Soup)

What you will need:

  • a pound of dry frijoles negros (one bag)
  • 5-6 cups of water
  • medium onion, chopped
  • 4 fat cloves of garlic minced
  • half a green pepper chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp of cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 3 bay leaves or 2 tsp of chopped bay leaves
  • one capful of white vinegar
  • one tablespoon of olive oil

Even though we do this on the crockpot, there is some pre-work to be done.  Soak the black beans in 5 cups of water  with the tsp of salt for 10 hours.  When ready, pour the beans with the water into the crockpot.  Add one to two more cups of water.  Chop your onion, green pepper and mince your garlic.

Sofrito

Sofrito

Heat the tablespoon of olive oil into a saucepan over medium heat.  Once the oil is hot enough, throw in the onions, peppers and garlic in that order.  Sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring.  Add the capful of vinegar, the oregano, and the bay leaves.  Stir for about 2 minutes, and take off the heat.

Sauteeing the Sofrito

Sauteeing the Sofrito

Add the sofrito to the frijoles in the crockpot.  Stir mixing well.  Add the cumin, stir again and cover.  Set on low for 8 hours.  However, without taking the lid off, check them around the 7th hour only to make sure they’ve got enough water.  I didn’t have a water problem at all.

Ready to turn on the crockpot

Ready to turn on the crockpot

Now, I usually like my sopa de frijoles negros a bit toned down from regular frijoles negros (you know, the ones you throw over rice)…and there is a reason for that.  Papi would always add about a tablespoon of chopped onion and a couple squirts of white vinegar to his frijoles negros. I never really understood why – until the first time I ate frijoles negros at a Cuban restaurant.  They tasted sort of off; I mean come on, compared to Abuela’s black beans they were tasteless!  And then I remembered, onions and vinegar…and voilá! The beans miraculously recuperated and were now delicious!  I kid you not, that’s how I eat the black beans at Pollo Tropical and everywhere else I go (I rarely like them just they way they are served).  I even got my husband hooked.

Why do I tell you all this?  Because that is how I serve the sopa de frijoles negros.  Since we are two, I do two servings – 2 tbsp of chopped onion and a cap of white vinegar. I place them in the individual custard pyrex molds and cover them with plastic wrapping and shake shake shake señora!  As for the rice, I use no more than half a cup of cooked valencia white rice for each serving.  I like to differentiate it from regular frijoles!  Place the onion first right in the center and the rice right over it so it looks something like this:

Sopa de Frijoles Negros!

Sopa de Frijoles Negros!

The soup came out great!   Happy Cooking!