Saturday, November 7, 2015

Vegan Cuban Black Bean Soup-Hot, Spicy and Smoky

This easy recipe is as authentic as it gets for Cuban Black Bean Soup without the meat! As I say,
" no meat- no problem"

Smoked Paprika adds smoked flavor

The flavors are Cuban, but the soup is vegan.
I added smoked paprika to the recipe to give it what otherwise would be the" smoked ham hock" taste. But that's optional- you decide whether to add the smoked paprika or not.
The soup will taste great either way-

Healthy Soup Recipes for Busy People
Do you like to cook healthy recipes but be in and out of the kitchen quickly? 
This recipe can be assembled in 10 minutes, and you can do other things while the soup is cooking.  Black Beans and the other simple vegetables in the recipe make for a healthy high fiber meal.

There is definitely a reason that black beans are so widely used and so popular in Latin countries.
Satisfying and filling, this soup is perfect for a cold winter day ( or a chilly fall night).

How to cook your own dry Black Beans

If you want to avoid using cans ( because of BPA and other chemicals in the lining) , then it is important to buy dry beans ( sold in bags in the supermarket) and cook your own. You will need to soak the dry beans overnight, rinse them, and then cook them according to the instruction of the package the next day. Here is how:
  • Wash the beans according to directions on the bag
  • Place the beans in a large bowl and cover with water
  • Soak the covered beans over night
  • Rinse off the water in the morning 
  • Place beans in a large pot and boil for about 1 and half hours until beans are soft
  • When beans feel soft, remove from heat, drain, and use in recipes that call for cooked beans

Fastest Method Use Canned Beans If You Are In A Rush

 If you are in a rush, and want to eliminate the soaking and cooking step for the beans,  you could use organic canned black beans! Some organic brands do not contain BPA in the lining.  If you do use canned , this recipe becomes a really quick and easy soup and surprisingly whether you cook your own or use the canned,  either way, the soup tastes just as good!

Vegan Cuban Black Bean Soup 

Author: Judee Algazi of Gluten Free A-Z Blog
Prep Time:  10 minutes if using canned beans or previously cooked beans
Cook Time:  1 hour

7 cups of cooked black beans ( make your own or use 2 large cans of organic canned beans)
1 cup of chopped red or yellow bell pepper
1 cup of chopped onion
4 cloves of fresh garlic , chopped
2 Tablespoons of olive oil
Cracked black pepper to taste
3 cups of water
6 cups of vegetable broth
1 jalepeno, seeded and chopped
 1 teaspoon smoked paprika ( I got mine at Trader Joe's ) or more to taste
 1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
Add cooked rice to each bowl.
1/2 cup of diced red onion and red pepper for garnish


In a large soup pot slowly saute the onions, garlic, and red pepper in the olive oil.
Add the cooked beans, jalepeno, seasoning , water and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil and reduce to medium and cook for about an hour ( 1/2 hour covered;1/2 hour uncovered) , stirring occasionally. The beans will soften up into the soup.
If the liquid begins to cook down and the soup thickens too much, add an additional 1 cup of water and 1 cup vegetable broth. Season with with additional black pepper and smoked paprika to taste.
For a thicker soup- use an immersion blender to blend it partially.  Garnish with chopped red onion and chopped red pepper.

These will cook down and almost disintegrate in the soup and the red pepper
flavor will be very mild ( I only had a green pepper) 

What are the Heath Benefits of Black Beans ?

  • Packed with antioxidants.The darker a bean, the greater its antioxidant value, making black beans antioxidant superstars even surpassing the antioxidants in oranges! Studies report that  antioxidants help boost our immune systems to help protect against cancer, degenerative disease, and general health.
  • Loaded with fiber. In addition, black beans are loaded with fiber which helps rid toxins from building up in your system by keeping your elimination regular. 
  • Does it Fight Heart disease ? Just one of many available studies was an impressive 19 year study that followed 10,000 persons ( Archives of Internal Medicine). The study found that high fiber foods like black beans, helps prevent heart disease. Eating at least 21 grams of fiber rich foods a day brought down the risk for heart disease by at least 15 %. A cup of black beans provides about 12 grams of heat healthy fiber.
  • Stabilizes Blood sugar  Fiber also helps you maintain healthier glucose metabolism, so the high fiber content of black beans can help maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
  • Provides lots of Minerals. Black beans are a good source of minerals including iron, magnesium, and folates. If you have Celiac, check with your doctor, you may may be low in minerals due to years of poor absorption. ( especially iron)
  • Low in calories and fat- black beans are filling, satisfying and taste great, yet they are low in calories and low in fat. On Weight Watchers, they are  one of the suggested filling foods.

My Notes:
  • For an interesting kick, add 1/3 of a cup of vinegar ( white or apple cider) to the soup during the last 15 minutes of cooking.  
  • I add 1/4 cup of cooked white or brown rice to each bowl before eating
  • I sometimes top each bowl with plain Greek Yogurt or sour cream 
  • Chopped red onion and raw chopped green or red peppers is also a good garnish 
  • Freeze leftover soup for another meal ( freezes well) 
  • If cooking your own black beans, make them the day before
  • Make your rice while the soup cooks or the day before

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  1. This looks great. Thanks for linking up to Simply Natural Saturdays.

    1. Hi Jessica,
      It really tastes great too. Again , it's an easy soup . Just the way I like to cook.

  2. My husband loves Cuban Food thanks for the recipe~ Thanks for linking up to Merry Monday! Sharing on the MM Pinterest Baord! Have a great week!

    1. I hope that he likes the vegan version of Cuban food ! Most Cuban food is heavy on meat. I substituted smoky paprika to give it the smoky meat taste. Hope you try it

  3. What's cool weather without hot soups and who can resist this delectable Cuban Black Bean Soup! This is one of my favorite dishes! Thanks for sharing your healthy and delectable recipe with us on the Healthy Happy Green and Natural Party Blog Hop. I'm pinning and sharing.

  4. We love Black Beans and this soup looks delicious. Your recipe is awesome, I have pinned it. We really enjoy you sharing with Full Plate Thursday and hope to see you again soon!
    Miz Helen

  5. Smoked paprika sounds interesting.


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