Monday, December 2, 2013

Cuban-Inspired Coconut Black Bean Soup

Coconut milk. Black beans. A half-open can of chipotle peppers in adobo.


Just when I thought I had a random hodge podge of ingredients I discover a wealth of recipes (thank you Internet) that use those very things. When I started out I had no idea I would wind up with such a delicious version of black bean soup. But I did. I really did.

The basis of this soup was inspired by the unique blend of flavors I've seen in Cuban cuisine. It's part Spanish, part African and part Caribbean. Black beans and coconut rice are meal staples in many parts of Cuba. This recipe riffs on that idea.


You'll notice unlike most black bean soup recipes, I don't say to puree it. Honestly, I thought it looked so pretty with the chunks of pepper and potato that I decided to leave it as is.

Cuban-Inspired Coconut Black Bean Soup

Serves 4

Ingredients
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2-3 red potatoes, scrubbed and diced
  • 2 small bell peppers, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo, minced
  • 1, 15 oz. can coconut milk
  • 2 cups cooked black beans
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Lime wedges (optional)
Directions
  1. Heat the coconut oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the onions and saute for about 3 minutes or until they begin to soften.
  3. Add the bell pepper, garlic and potatoes. Saute until the potatoes just start to become tender.
  4. Stir in the spices and chipotle peppers. Cook for another minute or so.
  5. Stir in the beans and coconut milk. Bring it to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 20-30 minutes or until thickened.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove the bay leaves.
  7. Serve each bowl with a lime wedge to fresh squeeze on top.
Yum
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