Costa Rican Black Bean Soup

This traditional Costa Rican soup — called sopa negra in Latin America — is filling and delicious. Use a blender for easy preparation. You’ll end up with a yummy lunch when it’s paired with a slice of iDiet Soda Bread and a piece of fruit for dessert. This soup will freeze well in individual portions for a quick, easy meal.
costa rican black bean soup
1 pound dried black beans or 6 cups canned black beans (about 4 15-ounce cans)
2 Tablespoons corn or canola oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
½ red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/3 C finely chopped fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons salt (optional)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 ¼ C canned diced tomatoes
Tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon low-fat sour cream per serving (optional)
1 teaspoon finely chopped scallion per serving for garnish (optional)

  1. If using dried beans, soak them overnight in water to cover. Drain the beans and bring to a boil in about 8 cups of water, then reduce the heat and let simmer, covered, until just softened, about one hour. Set aside 3 cups of the bean-cooking liquid.
  2. Place the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper and garlic and cook until starting to brown, about five minutes.
  3. Add 3 cups of the black beans and the cilantro, salt and black pepper and cook for a couple of minutes.
  4. Using a blender, puree the bean mixture until semi-smooth and then return to pan. Add the remaining black beans, the reserved bean-cooking liquid and the tomatoes and let simmer, covered, until the flavors develop, about 10 minutes.
  5. Season the soup with Tabasco sauce to taste and garnish with sour cream and/or scallions, if desired.

Note: If you use canned beans, drain them, reserving the liquid. Add enough low-sodium chicken broth for a total of three cups of liquid and use this in place of the bean-cooking liquid.
Vegetarian, Gluten Intolerant, Suitable for High Blood Pressure, Suitable for High Cholesterol, Suitable for Diabetics
Excerpted from The “I” Diet Copyright ©2008, 2010 by Susan B. Roberts, LLC and Elizabeth Kelly Sargent. Used by permission of Workman Publishing Co., Inc., New York. All Rights Reserved.
To purchase the book: Amazon, BN.com, IndieBound.org, Workman

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