Inspired by the marvelous soup from Havana Café, I attempted my own version of their black bean and rice soup. What made the Havana soup so noticeably delicious was how the fresh lime tied everything toegther perfectly. The soup was a bit thick because of the rice and bean base, and the lime just freshened everything up. It was hearty but not heavy. Everything you could want in a soup!
It turns out that my Cuban soup making skills need some work. This soup isn’t exactly what I had imagined, but as I was perusing recipes, I was drawn to the idea of making a marinated rice and then adding the broth right before serving, in order to avoid sometimes over soaked and mushy rice you find in soup. As a result, this soup wasn’t all that thick, but it ended up being spicy, a bit zesty, and of course fresh because of the lime and cilantro garnishes. I was very happy with it!
Line up your ingredients to get started:
I tried soaking dry beans this time because I’ve heard it’s better for you health-wise, aaaaand (mostly) because the grocery store didn’t have cans. Anyways, I loved the soaked beans! I’m going to make a real effort to plan ahead and soak them from now on. They just taste so much more beany.
After you soak them, you have to boil them for a few hours too…
While the beans are boiling, start cooking up the broth. Sautée the onions, garlic and peppers for a few minutes, then stir in the cumin and oregano.
Add some broth and the beans to the pepper mixture and simmer for about 30 minutes. Then, add a few scoops of the marinated rice mixture (a bit of olive oil, green onion, diced tomatoes and rice vinegar, by the way) to your soup bowl. Zesty!
Pour a few scoops of the simmering broth over the rice and top with cilantro, a dollop of sour cream and of course fresh lime.
Cuban Black Bean and Rice Soup Recipe
- Prepare marinated rice by mixing cooked rice with green onion, diced tomatoes, olive oil and cider vinegar. Let the mixture marinate at room temperature, if making soup right away. Otherwise, cover, refrigerate, and marinate up to 1 day. Let rice come to room temperature before serving.
- Rinse beans in a strainer until canning juices run clear, or soak and boil dry beans if you prefer.
- Heat olive oil over medium high, and add onions. Saute for a few minutes.
- Add jalapenos, bell peppers and garlic; cook until softened.
- Stir in spices.
- Add broth, vinegar and beans.
- Cover and simmer 30 minutes (or longer, if desired), stirring occasionally.
- Taste for salt and spiciness. Add cayenne pepper, if more heat is desired.
- Serve soup in bowls over a scoop of rice. Top with cilantro and yogurt, if desired.
- Store left-over rice separately from soup, so liquid will not all be absorbed.