This quick and easy Cuban black bean soup is healthy and packed with flavor! Pair it with a green salad and cornbread for a satisfying meal your whole family will love.
Canned black beans make this recipe easy enough for a weeknight meal. I’ve also given directions on using dried black beans if you have the time. Both versions are equally delicious.
Cuban Black Bean Soup
Cuban black bean soup is a traditional dish that is cooked throughout the island. Every Cuban cook has his or her own recipe, sometimes varying by region.
Black bean soup can vary from very thick to thin and brothy. Some use a sofrito, which is an aromatic, sauteed vegetable base. Others stew dry beans with chopped vegetables until all the beans are tender and thickened. Finally, some Cuban cooks nestle an orange half into the pot while stewing the beans to help tenderize them and add sweetness.
- Bacon – you could also use diced ham, smoked sausage, Italian sausage, or diced chicken.
- Onions, bell pepper, and garlic
- Chicken stock – you could also use vegetable stock if you wanted to keep it vegetarian.
- Bottled beer – I use Corona, but any beer you enjoy drinking would work. You could also use chicken or vegetable stock instead.
- Canned black beans – I like using seasoned black beans for extra flavor.
- Fresh limes
- Cumin, chili powder, and adobo seasoning
- Salt and pepper
- Worchestershire sauce – this is optional but adds a depth of flavor.
Can I Vary The Ingredients?
- Go vegetarian by omitting the bacon and sauteing the vegetables in one tablespoon of coconut or olive oil. Sway vegetable or mushroom stock for the chicken stock.
- Increase the nutritional content by hiding veggies in the soup. A cup of salsa or a can of diced tomatoes are lovely in the soup. Shredded carrots, diced celery, or corn kernels are all delicious additions.
- Up the spice and heat levels by adding jalapenos or a can of green chiles.
- Smokiness can be achieved by tossing in a can of fire-roasted tomatoes or roasted poblano chiles. Grill the onions and peppers before adding them to the soup.
Steps To Make This Recipe
- Saute the chopped bacon until the fat is rendered and the bacon is crisp. Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon and reserve it for later.
- Saute the vegetables in the bacon fat until tender.
- Pour in the beer and bring it to a boil.
- Add the chicken stock, black beans, and spices.
- Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer.
- Puree the soup with an immersion blender.
- Stir in the cilantro and lime juice.
- Serve garnished with bacon, avocado, sour cream, and cilantro.
How To Start With Dry Black Beans
Add 2 cups of dry black beans to a large pot. Cover with water and soak for 8-12 hours. Drain the beans.
Alternatively, you can do a quick soak by adding the beans and water to a large pot. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute. Turn off the heat and allow to sit for 1 hour. Drain the beans.
To cook the beans, cover the soaked beans with fresh water. Nestle in a peeled, halved onion and unpeeled orange cut in halves. Sprinkle in 1-2 teaspoons of cumin. Cover the pot and bring the mixture up to a boil.
Remove the lid. Stir the beans to prevent sticking. Lower the heat and simmer for 1 hour. Test the beans for tenderness. If they are not tender, continue to simmer, checking for tenderness every 15 minutes.
Set the pot aside to cool while you start the soup recipe as written.
I like to serve this quick and easy soup recipe with either Southern Hushpuppies or a slice of Cheddar Jalapeno Bread. A Fruit And Nut Winter Salad or a Tropical Beet Salad are also great, fresh sides. Finally, a side of Mexican Grilled Corn or Easy Sugar Snap Peas and an icy Classic Cadillac Margarita rounds out and completes the meal.Print
A quick and easy Cuban Black Bean soup that’s a healthy and nutritious lunch or light dinner. Pair with a green salad and crusty bread for a perfectly comforting meal.
4 slices bacon, minced
1 cup diced sweet onion
1 cup minced red bell pepper
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 bottle (12 oz.) beer, (I like Corona, but any will do)
1 cup chicken stock
4 cans (15 oz. each) seasoned black beans, undrained
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons hot sauce
1 teaspoon Adobo seasoning
¼ cup minced fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Sour cream, chopped avocado, cilantro, or sliced green onion for garnish
In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, add the minced bacon and cook until very crisp. You can either leave the meat in the pot or use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon bits to add as a garnish later.
Add in the onion and cook, stirring, until translucent, about 10 minutes. Slide in the red bell pepper and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant – approximately 4 minutes.
Pour in the beer and allow the alcohol to burn off, for about a minute.
Add the chicken stock, 3 cans of black beans with their juice, Worcestershire sauce, cumin, chili powder, hot sauce, and Adobo seasoning. Stir well and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove the soup from the heat. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup to your desired consistency. Stir in the last can of black beans with their juice.
Return to the stove over medium heat. Stirring often, bring the soup back to just under a simmer. Stir in the cilantro and lime juice. Taste and adjust the seasonings for salt and pepper.
Serve hot, garnished with your choice of sour cream, shredded cheese, avocado, chopped onion, or tortilla strips.
Store leftovers in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
To freeze, portion the soup into freezer–safe containers. Leave an inch of space in the container to allow for expansion as the soup freezes. Store in the freezer for 2-3 months.
To reheat, thaw the soup in the refrigerator. Reheat in the microwave at medium power in five minute intervals, stirring after each interval.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Category: Starter
- Method: Simmer
- Cuisine: Cuban
Keywords: quick and easy soup recipe, black bean soup, Cuban food, weeknight dinner, soup recipes, cuban black bean soup