23 May 2011

Sopa Negra (Costa Rican Black Bean Soup)


This is a recipe from Costa Rica, a staple in every Tico diet. Is it very simple to make, like a lot of Costa Rican recipes, but it is lovely and full of flavour. It is a black bean soup with rice, flavoured with coriander and sweet peppers. The quantities are not exact and they don't really need to be. You can use tinned or dried beans, although I prefer dried.

You need:

1 onion chopped into very small pieces
1 clove of garlic crushed/chopped
1 red bell pepper chopped in to very small pieces
1 tin of black beans or the rough equivalent of dried beans, soaked overnight and boiled until soft (preserve the water you cook them in)
a handful of chopped coriander/cilantro
salt and pepper to taste


Prepare all the ingredients first. You need to chop the onion and the pepper in to very small pieces, as small as you can, crush the garlic and chop the coriander finely.

If you are using dried beans, after soaking, boil for a few hours until they are very soft but don't throw away the water. Get a potato masher and crush some of the beans as well as you can, this will make the soup a bit thicker and add to the colour. Add half the onion, half the pepper, half the coriander and the garlic to the water with the beans in and simmer for 15-20mins.

If you are using tinned beans, firstly, don't throw the water away from the tin unless it is overly salty. Even if it is salty it'll probably be ok to use as you will need to add more water to it and the seasoning of the water will most likely be fine in the end.

Secondly (for the tinned beans people), in a big pan, use a little oil and saute the onion, then add the garlic and half the pepper. Then add the beans and their water, as well as a pint or so of extra water. Crush some of the beans as well as you can. Add half the cilantro and bring to the boil and simmer for 15-20mins.

Ok, now for both lots of people (dried and tinned beans), add the rest of the onion, pepper and cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste. Be fairly generous with the salt, the beans can take a fair amount.

Simmer for another couple of minutes and the soup is ready to eat.

To serve, ladle the soup in to a bowl, garnish with a little extra coriander. The rice usually comes on a place on the side and the idea is that you tip the rice in to the soup, creating a filling and wholesome meal.

21 comments:

  1. nom nom! very good looks great!

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  2. om nom indeed, ill try this in a couple of days

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  3. low kcal, and sure that's delicious

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  4. I've tried black beans, they're pretty good, so I might like this.

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  5. I have such a varied food taste, I'm going to have to try everything on this blog haha!

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  6. Yum. This is making me hungry.

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  7. Fantastic recipe, although I'd add some black pepper.

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  8. Whoa thank you so much, I will try to cook this, I love soups, ever tried the ''Elote and cilantro'' soup? Or the ''Sopa Tarasca'', it's awesome! Following!

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  9. Hah. I wish I could cook some of this stuff, my mother loves such thing!

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  10. Sounds delicious, I need to try that when I get the chance!

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  11. Daily Tips, no I haven't tried those, I don't think. Not sure what the Sopa Tarasca is but the Elote & Cilantro sounds lovely, I will look for a recipe and try it out.

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  12. Thanks for the reciepe, I will try it out tonight. Love cooking.

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  13. I'll be sure to give this a try!

    Oh and the naan brad with raisins turned out great, thanks again for the recipe =D

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  14. That's great Pete, so glad to hear it worked out well!

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  15. Very nice to take it in the winter. Looks hot :)

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  16. This is so filling over rice! I like to top it with a ton of cheese too, yummy!

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