Spicy Black Bean Soup

Jamaican cuisine is the result of mixing the techniques and foods of the people, who are native to the island, with the cuisines from the Spanish, Irish, French, British, African, Indian, and Chinese. Whether it’s fusion or representative of a specific cultural cuisine, the island’s food is full of delicious flavor and history.

While this dish is not authentic, it pulls together notable elements of Jamaican cuisine to create a warming, comforting, delicious soup. You can make the soup as thin or thick as you like—simply adjust the amount of broth that you add. Serve it over rice to make it even heartier, or simply enjoy it on its own.

Spicy Black Bean Soup

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 medium red onion, chopped

2-3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

1 ½ tsp minced fresh ginger

½-1 small habanero pepper, chopped

½ cup julienned carrots

1 small green pepper, chopped

1 small red pepper, chopped

½ tsp dried thyme

½ tsp garlic powder

1-1 ½ tsp ground allspice

2 15 ounce cans of black beans, drained and rinsed

2 cups broth (fake chicken or vegetable)

1” X 1” piece of fresh orange rind

1 Tbsp raisins

1 Tbsp lemon juice

¼ cup fresh cilantro + more to serve

Salt, to taste

1. In a large heavy pot or dutch oven, add olive oil, onion, garlic and a pinch of salt. Sauté over medium-low heat for ~7 minutes or until onions are soft. Add fresh ginger, habanero, carrot, peppers, thyme, garlic powder and allspice. Sauté for an additional 5 minutes over medium-low heat.

2. Add the black beans and broth. Bring to a boil, and then, turn down the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer for 10 minutes or until vegetables are cooked through.

3. Straining out as much liquid as possible, add 1 cup of the soup to a food processor or blender. Add the orange rind, raisins, lemon juice and cilantro to the food processor or blender, as well. Blend until mostly smooth, and then, spoon it back into the pot with the rest of the soup. Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed (more salt? more lemon juice?). Serve topped with fresh cilantro.

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