Cuban Black Bean Soup
Make this quick and easy black bean soup using canned black beans, veggies, spices, and broth for a simple weeknight meal that’s full of flavor.
Spices for Black Bean Soup
There are many spices that can be used to make a delicious black bean soup. This version uses a sazon-style Cuban spice blend that’s all-natural and full of flavor. If you don’t have a sazon-style seasoning on hand, you can improvise with annatto/achiote, cumin, oregano, garlic, and black pepper. In addition, sauteing the aromatics in the recipe (onion, green bell pepper, and garlic) before adding the black beans adds even more depth of flavor. This method of sauteing these ingredients together creates what is often called a sofrito. Don’t skip this step, as it definitely contributes to a more fully flavored final dish.
What is Annatto?
Annatto, or achiote, is a ground spice that comes from a small heart-shaped seed. It is red or reddish-brown in color and often used as a natural food dye for items like butter and cheese. It has a slightly pepperminty, floral aroma and is used in many traditional Latin American cuisines.
Using Canned Black Beans
I used canned black beans to make this quick version of traditional Cuban black beans. Most traditional Cuban black bean recipes start with dried beans, but when I’m in a hurry, canned black beans work just as well. I like to puree about three-quarters of the soup mixture at the end for a creamy texture. It’s also possible to leave the soup as whole beans too, do what sounds good to you, totally a personal preference!
Toppings for Black Bean Soup
It is simple and delicious to dollop a spoonful of sour cream on top of this delicious soup. However, I also like to make a cabbage salad to put on top as well, as shown in the photo. This way I have a one-dish meal, and the cabbage salad makes a delicious addition.
Cuban Black Bean Soup
- 1 medium white or yellow onion
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 green bell pepper
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons Cuban Seasoning
- 3 15 oz. cans black beans, undrained
- 2 cups chicken or veggie broth
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, divided (amount to add depends on how much sodium is in the beans and broth you are using)
- 1/8 cup white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- sour cream, for serving
- Cut onion and peppers into a medium dice. Mince garlic.
- In a medium-sized soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add diced onion and peppers, and 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until very soft, 10-15 minutes. Be careful not to brown veggies: turn down the heat if necessary.
- Add the minced garlic and Cuban seasoning and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
- Add black beans (undrained) and broth, and bring to a boil. Stir, cover, and lower heat to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes.
- Transfer about 3/4 of the soup to a blender and blend until smooth. Return to pot and add vinegar, sugar, and more salt if needed.
- Serve with sour cream on the side, if desired.