Cuban Black Bean Soup

Jacques Pépin’s Cuban Black Bean Soup

Authentic Cuban recipe
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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Course anytime
Cuisine Cuban
Servings 12


  • 6 quart Soup pot
  • Blender, food processor or immersion blender.


  • 1 LB Black beans-dry
  • 2 Quarts Water
  • 1-1 1/2 Quarts Chicken Stock-we use unsalted
  • 1/2 Cup Rice–white, jasmine, brown. Your choice
  • 1/2 TSP Cumin
  • 1/2 TSP Chili powder
  • 1 TSP Coarse Salt Use less if using table salt.
  • 1 Bunch Cilantro stems/bottoms–Chopped You can not use this if you don't like cilantro, or use LESS.
  • 1-1 1/2 Cups Salsa-I'm using a fresh medium heat You can use canned tomatoes if you don't want to use salsa.
  • 5-6 Cloves Garlic, rough chopped
  • 1 Cup Leeks-chopped–about 1 cup
  • 2 Cups Onion-rough chopped
  • TOPPINGS Sliced banana,Diced sweet onions, fresh Cilantro (from the stems). A dash of vinegar if you want a little acid. diced hard-boiled egg, dash of tabasco, a dash of olive oil. Optional toppings. Use what you want of these.


  • Pour beans onto a baking sheet to look for stones, etc. Put beans in a strainer and rinse them well with water. Put beans into your cooking pot.
  • Add two quarts of water and 1 quart of chicken stock, cumin powder, chili powder, Stir and bring to a fast boil. Cover and lower heat to low, cook for approximately 1 1/2 hours.
  • Remove lid, add chopped cilantro stems, salsa, garlic, leeks, onion.
    You might need to add more chicken stock or water if it appears TOO thick. 1, 1 1/2 cups. You don't want it to be THICK. Add a pinch of salt, bring this all to a boil. Lower heat to LOW, cover and let cook about an hour. Beans should be completely cooked by now. If not cook a little more but watch so you don't overcook them. Otherwise you'll have mush.
  • Using your blender or food processor take about 2 cups of your soup and blend it until creamy.
    Or if you are using an immersion tool, insert into soup and pulse (on/off) blend for 5-10 seconds to add a creaminess to the soup. You don't want to overdo it though.
  • It's ready. Ladle into your bowls. Top with you choice of any or all of these. Mix it up, try something new.
    Sliced banana,
    Diced sweet onions
    Fresh Cilantro (from the stems)
    A dash of vinegar if you want a little acid.
    Diced hard-boiled egg
    Dash of tabasco
    Dash of Olive oil


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