Black beans potage ~ Cuban Style

What makes a Chilean woman talks about Cuban recipes?

The answer is: I’m married to a Cuban guy. That’s the main reason of  me in the United States, and then, the reason of why I’m a big fan of Cuban dishes.

My family in law is from the east area of Cuba, specifically from Puerto Padre. And their home, here in the States, was the place where I came directly from Chile in 2012.

Before I’ve had a hint about how the Cuban flavor is, but since I arrived here my mother in law showed me how to cook their recipes as a Cuban makes it.

So here are the main steps to make a simple Black Bean Soup in a Cuban Style, with all those rich flavors and creamy texture. And, of course, vegan.

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This recipe requires to use dry black beans, and I do not recommend to use canned beans since you will need the concoction water. If use canned beans you will not be able to rinse them, and that liquid where they come always have some preservatives, even if they are organic.

I love this potage, it is so easy to make and its flavor is so rich and savory, very filling and inexpensive! This recipe is traditionally paired with rice and “tostones” (big chunks of fried plantains), which makes this meal an excellent option make when is cold outside.

Making big batches of this black beans potage you’ll allow you to have fast and delicious meals for up to four months if you freeze them.

Here I’m also sharing how to make “tostones” in a different way, which is healthier than the traditional method, which is a double fried plantain basically. I’m not gonna lie: I love double fried plantains, but always is good to have an alternative to make those delicious chips a little bit “light” in fat.

Here is the recipe:

Black beans potage ~ Cuban Style

  • Servings: 4
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Ingredients:

Beans Potage:

1 cup dried black beans

1 cup diced onion

1 cup diced green bell pepper

3 minced garlic cloves

1/2 Tsp bouillon

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tsp Cumin

1/4 Tsp black pepper

4 bay leaves

salt to taste

Plantains:

2 big green plantains

3 cloves garlic

1 tsp salt

1/3 cup vegetable oil to fry.

Cooking process:

Potage
  1. Rinse the beans thoroughly before soaking, taking apart any dirt or pieces of broken beans, skins or other.
  2. In a ceramic recipient put 2 cups of boiling water and 3 bay leaves to soak for 15 minutes. Then add the dried beans. Let them hydrate for at least 2 hours.
  3. After 2 hours, put the beans to cook with the soaking water on the stove, at medium high heat for about 45 minutes after they start to boil (add 1 cup of water if it is evaporating too much, they have to be covered in liquid). If you are using a electric pressure cooker set the timer to 12 minutes in manual, and if you are using a pressure cooker for the stove, set a timer 12 minutes after start to venting.
  4. On a skillet at medium high heat, stir fry the onions, garlic and bay leaf for 2 minutes or until the onion starts to sweat a little bit.
  5. Add the Bell Peppers, mix and keep stir frying for 1 minute.
  6. Add the spices: Black pepper, cumin and salt. Keep mixing until the peppers gets soft and the onion is translucent.
  7. With a skimmer, take about 1/3 of cup of beans and crush them with a fork on a plate or a bowl. Pour this puree over you onions and bell peppers.
  8. Take the mixture out of the heat and pour it over the beans previously cooked.
  9. Add the bouillon, and mix. Let the beans to slowly boil for about 20 minutes, with the lid half on to reduce the liquid a bit.
Plantains
  1. Peel them, cutting the ends first and then make a superficial cut along the plantain. Try to pull apart only the skin.
  2. Cut them into 1 inch slices.
  3. In a skillet at high heat, warm the oil, once it get hot add the plantains. Let them fry for about 2 minutes or until their are a little bit golden brown.
  4. Take them out the fry pan to an paper towel, fold the paper over the slice and press it with a rolling pin or between two plates, they will get flat and smashed.
  5. Finish them in the oven, on a baking tray lined with parchment paper at 350 for 8 to 10 minutes. This step will allows you make the plantains crunchy outside, without frying them again, saving you calories, but not flavor!
  6. Meanwhile prepare your seasoning: Mash the garlic with the salt on a mortar, or you can use the food processor to finely mince the garlic, put it on a big bowl, then add the salt on it.
  7. Once the your “tostones” are done, season them with the garlic mixture tossing them very well, so every bite get coated with a garlicky flavor.

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