This recipe for Cuban Black Bean Soup is quick and easy to make, and tastes good too! It’s a copy cat recipe from a US restaurant chain – Bahama Breeze – which is one of our favourite restaurants to visit when we go to Florida. We easily eat there 2 or 3 times per trip!
Black Bean Soup
I’m always drawn to making foods that we have enjoyed when on holiday in Florida, mainly because it reminds us of the good times we have out there. Bahama Breeze was one of the first American restaurants we ever went to as a family, and we instantly felt welcomed, loved the vibe of the place, and the food was goooood!
There are several different soups that they have on their menu – this Cuban Black Bean Soup, and the Yucatan Chicken & Tortilla Soup (which I’m going to have to make soon too!) The black bean soup is served with a cilantro-crema, and the chicken soup comes with a topping of crispy tortilla strips, and chunks of avocado. When I came to actually executing this copy cat recipe, I got my toppings mixed up! But honestly, they go together just fine!
Here’s what both the soups look like from the restaurant. You can have soup as an appetizer, or as a side dish, which is what we did on the visit below. When I cooked it at home, we had a bigger portion and enjoyed it as our lunch on a Saturday afternoon.
I really enjoy black beans, and use them quite a lot at home. They can be found in UK supermarkets – I tend to find them down the World Foods aisle, usually in the Caribbean section.The other ingredients are pretty straightforward. The recipe asks for 1 tablespoon of sherry – which I didn’t have. There are various substitutions you can make like using dry vermouth, dry white wine, and even cider. But I just left it out. For the beer element of the recipe, I used a bottle of Coors as that’s what we had to hand.
The main seasonings are garlic, cumin, and Tabasco sauce. All of which I usually have in the cupboard. There is also the optional addition of adobo seasoning, which I haven’t seen in UK stores, but on a quick search online, it can easily be made using the following herbs and spices (yields, 5 tablespoons)
Adobo Seasoning Mix
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic granules
- 1 teaspoon chilli powder
The soup is so easy to make, and after cooking off the bacon, onions, garlic and peppers, everything else gets added to the pan and simmered, before being blended with an immersion blender. We cut a flour tortilla into strips, and shallow fried, and topped the soup with this and cubes of avocado – yum! You could also serve it with white rice, or with a spoon of sour cream.
You can find the original recipe on the Bahama Breeze website (which also has lots of other delish recipes from their menu). I have altered the measurements to more commonly used UK ones.
- 4 x 400g cans black beans
- 3 slices bacon, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 x 330ml bottle beer
- 60ml water
- 1 tbsp dry sherry
- 1 medium onion, diced
- ½ green bell pepper, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- ¼ tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp Tabasco sauce
- Adobo seasoning or salt and pepper (to taste)
- Heat oil in a pot on medium heat.
- Add the chopped bacon and sauté for 1 minute.
- Add the peppers, onions and garlic. Sauté for approximately 2 minutes.
- Add the beer and Tabasco sauce, and bring to a boil.
- Add 3 cans of beans with their juice and bring back to a boil.
- Using a handheld kitchen blender, purée the soup until smooth.
- Add the remaining 1 can of beans and bring back to a boil.
- Add the sherry and season to taste with Adobo seasoning or salt and pepper.
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