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Cuban-Style Black Bean Soup

Serves 6 to 8 Servings
Serves 6 to 8 Servings


  • 1/2 pound smoked slab bacon,
  • 1 pound dried black (turtle) beans, picked of any dirt or debris
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon large onion, chopped - 1 1/2 cups chopped
  • 1 tablespoon red bell pepper, stem and seeds removed, chopped
  • 2 stalk celery, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon chili powder, ancho preferred
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup dark rum


Baking Directions:


Rinse the beans in cold water, drain and place in a bowl, cover with cold water, soak refrigerated, overnight.

When ready to make the soup, drain the beans of their soaking water.

2. Pour the olive oil into a large, heavy-bottomed pot and set it over medium-high heat.

  When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the slab bacon and brown slightly before adding the onion, bell pepper, celery, chili, and cumin.

Allow to cook until the vegetables are softened but not browned, approximately 6 minutes.

Add the garlic and tomato paste and cook an additional 3 minutes, stirring to make sure you don't scorch the tomato or garlic.

3. Carefully add 4 quarts of water to the pot, raise the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil.

  Add the beans to the pot, stir, and when the water returns to the boil, lower the heat and let simmer until the beans are tender but still holding their shape, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.


Remove the pot from the heat and season the soup with salt and pepper.

Using tongs, remove the slab bacon, set aside.

As the beans are quite hot at this point, allow them to cool for 10 to 15 minutes, then puree the soup still in the pot with an immersion blender, or, carefully remove and blend   in small batches using a standing blender.

When the bacon has cooled, cut into small dice and retune to the pureed soup, and reheat thoroughly.

5. Ladle the soup into 6 to 8 bowls and garnish each serving with a splash of rum a tablespoon of sour cream and a scattering of scallions.