Cuban Black Bean Soup
This Cuban black bean soup recipe is from the new cookbook, Happy Herbivore Abroad: A Travelogue and Over 135 Fat-Free and Low-Fat Vegan Recipes from Around the World by Lindsay S. Nixon. Lindsay is famous for her focus on low-fat and low-calorie vegan recipes; this Cuban Black Bean Soup is hearty with 22 grams each of protein and fiber per serving, but each bowl contains only 4 grams of fat and less than 400 calories.
Of course, this Cuban black bean soup is perfect for the cooler months. But since the cooking time is so short, and the overall recipe is quite light, it could easily be enjoyed in the spring and summer, too. In fact, Lindsay enjoyed Cuban black bean soup most during her time in sunny Florida …
I attended high school just outside of Tampa, Florida, where Cuban cuisine is popular due to Ybor City’s rich history. Ybor City was founded by cigar manufacturers in the late 1800s, and thousands of people immigrated to the area from Cuba. Cuban black bean soup was something I always longed for and missed, until I found a vegetarian version in an old issue of Eating Well. I’ve since adapted that recipe to be vegan and more reminiscent of the soup I grew up with. – Lindsay S. Nixon, Happy Herbivore Abroad
Note that this recipe is naturally vegan, vegetarian, and allergy-friendly (gluten-free and free of the top eight allergens), but be sure to choose your ingredients wisely. Some brands of pre-packaged foods, like vegetable broth, can contain unwanted ingredients.
Cuban Black Bean Soup
- ½ small onion, chopped
- 1-1/2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1-1/2 cups vegetable broth
- ¼ cup prepared salsa
- 1-1/2 teaspoons lime juice
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped (garnish)
- 1 to 2 green onions, sliced (garnish)
- Corn chips, crumbled (garnish)
- Hot sauce or cayenne pepper (optional)
- Add a few splashes of water or vegetable broth to a skillet over high heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add the chili powder and cumin, and stir to combine. Then add the beans, vegetable broth, and salsa. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and let the soup simmer for 10 minutes.
- Remove the soup from the heat and stir in the lime juice.
- Transfer half of the mixture to a blender and puree until mostly smooth. Mix the puree back in with soup.
- Garnish each serving with cilantro, green onions, and broken corn chips. You can also drizzle with hot sauce or add cayenne pepper to taste, if desired.
Chef’s Note: You can make your own low-fat corn chips from corn tortillas. Crisp tortillas in a toaster oven or oven at 350ºF for a few minutes, or until crisp. Let cool, and break into chips.