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Friday, March 07, 2008

Caribbean Flavor: Black Bean Soup

The winter is coming to an end in the US mid-atlantic states. Even though this has been a mild winter, Spring fever has many people thinking of warmer weather and warmer climates. Caribbean-inspired dishes seem to hit the spot.

This dish is similar to what you can find in many Cuban restaurants in Florida. Even though it is eaten in warmer climates, it is warming enough for the tail-end of winter. Vary the seasoning with a little allspice if you want to bring to mind the flavors of some of the other islands.

This hearty vegan soup is low in fat and salt and a great favorite with the kids (if you go easy on the cayenne). Garnish with sour cream, if you like, and serve chopped onions and chilis on the side. Serve a large portion as a main course or a smaller portion as an appetizer.

You can use canned black beans, but you'll get a better flavor and avoid the salt if you cook them yourself. A pressure cooker gets the job done in 1/6 the time.

Cuban Black Bean Soup

Recipe By: Family Nutritionist
Serving Size: 15
Main Ingredient: Beans
Categories: Vegetarian, Vegan, Soup

-= Ingredients =-
7 1/2 cups Cooked Black Beans no na
1 Tbsp Olive oil
1/2 cup Onion ; chopped fine
1/2 Red bell pepper ; 1/4-inch dice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon Oregano
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
4 cup Low-salt Vegetable Stock
1/2 teaspoon Salt ; and pepper to taste

-= Instructions =-
One pound of dry black beans (about 2 ½ cups dry), yields about 6 ¼ cups cooked.
Three cups yields 7 cups cooked; 6 cups yields about 15 cups cooked.
For each cup of dry beans: soak in 3 cups water overnight, then drain and simmer in 3 cups of water for 3 hours, adding water as necessary. Or cook in pressure cooker with 3 cups of water for 25 minutes. Drain.

Heat stockpot on Medium-high heat. Add oil. Cook onions and red pepper, for 3-4 minutes, until translucent. Add cumin, coriander, oregano, and cayenne and cook 1 more minute.

Add black beans and vegetable stock; stir. Bring to a boil on HIGH. Reduce heat to MEDIUM. Simmer 20 min; stir occasionally. Stir in vinegar. Adjust seasoning.

Servings: 30: Serving Size: 0.8 cups (161g) Calories: 130: Fat(g): 1 (10%of Cals): Sodium (g): 200
Protein: 9g, NetCarbs: 13, K: 325mg
SatFat: 0g, PolyFat: 0g, MonoFat: 1g, Chol: 0mg
TotCarbs: 21g, Fiber: 8g, Sugars: 0g

Food Group Serving(s)
DASH: Vegetables: 0.1: Fruits/Juices: 0.0: Dairy: 0.0: Grains: 0.0: Meat/Fish: 0.0: Seeds: 1.0: Fats: 0.2: Sweets: 0.0
USDA: Vegetables: 0.1: Fruits/Juices: 0.0: Dairy: 0.0: Grains: 0.0: Meat/Fish/Seeds: 1.0: Fats: 0.2: Sweets: 0.0

Nutritional information in this post calculated using bigoven. Food Group Servings calculated in EXCEL using http://www.mypyramid.gov/ and DASH diet references

Article edited on 14 March 2008 -- I corrected my math on time savings with the pressure cooker. Thirty minutes is 1/6 of 3 hours.