Sunday, May 11, 2014

Cuban Black Bean Soup with Cashew Sour Cream (& a Special Ingredient) for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

I like soups that are unique or have something unexpected about them. Looking at this bowl of Cuban Black Bean Soup, it seems pretty typical. Tasting it, the flavor has layers--smoky cumin, a hit of hot chili spice and a slight sweetness. By taste you wouldn't guess that the sweetness comes from bananas--the 'secret' ingredient in this soup from The Vegan Table: 200 Unforgettable Recipes for Entertaining Every Guest at Every Occasion by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. Topped with non-dairy sour cream made from cashews and diced red bell pepper, it's a tasty and satisfying take on a classic soup.  

The Vegan Table says, "This complex-tasting dish will have your guests wondering how many hours you toiled in the kitchen. Keep them guessing. Only you will know it took no time at all."
Cuban Black Bean Soup
The Vegan Table by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau
(Yields 6-8 Servings)

 2 Tbsp water for sautéing
2 medium-sized yellow onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 red bell peppers, chopped + more finely diced for garnish (optional)
4 (15 oz) cans black beans, rinsed & drained or 6 cups from scratch
3 medium-sized ripe bananas, peeled & sliced
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground ginger
2 Tbsp hot pepper sauce, or to taste
2 (15 oz) cans lite coconut milk
4 cups low-sodium vegetable stock 
salt to taste
(I added 2 Tbsp lemon juice)
Cashew Sour Cream (recipe below) or non-dairy sour cream to garnish (optional)

Place water in a soup pot, and heat over medium-high heat. Add onions, garlic, and chopped red pepper. Cook until onion is transparent, about 5 minutes.

Stir in black beans. Add bananas, cumin, ginger, and hot pepper sauce. Stir and cook until fruit softens. Pour in coconut milk and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, and simmer until liquid reduces, about 45 minutes. (Note: For texture, I kept out about 2 cups of the cooked black beans, then after pureeing the soup, I stirred them back in.)

Place soup, in batches, into a blender or use an immersion blender in the soup pot and blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt. 

Serve hot, garnished with a dollop of cashew cream and sprinkle with finely-diced red bell pepper, if desired. 

Cashew Sour Cream
Adapted from The Vegan Table by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau
(Yields About 1 Cup)

1 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight in water, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 to 3/4 cup water
salt, to taste

In a blender, combine cashews, lemon juice and 1/2 cup of the water. Blend on low speed, gradually increasing the speed to the maximum. While the blender is running, gradually add more water to keep the ingredients from sinking to the bottom of the blender and the desired consistency is reached. Blend until completely smooth and about the consistency of whipped cream. Salt to taste.

Store in airtight container, refrigerated for up to 4 days. Thin as needed with water.

Notes/Results: I have had plantains in soup, and bananas as a soup topping, so I thought I was going to like this soup. Thankfully, since it makes a large batch, I was right. ;-) The bananas rather than adding banana flavor, add a slight sweetness and a velvety texture to the soup. The sweetness contrasts nicely with the spicy kick of the hot pepper sauce. I did add about 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice to the soup to give it a little acidity--the cashew sour cream adds that as well when it is stirred in. Besides the cashew sour cream and diced pepper, I served the soup with blue corn tortilla chips and extra Tabasco sauce. A unique and tasty bowl of soup that I would make again. 

Some friends await in the Souper Sundays kitchen, let's have a look.

Pam of Sidewalk Shoes is here with a hearty stew and says, "I found Slow Cooker Stout and Chicken Stew at Eating Well online. It got some mixed reviews and I am not sure why. It was wonderful!  The stout gives the broth a wonderful rich flavor and the broth stays nice and thick. The bacon gives it another layer of flavor and the mushrooms are wonderfully meaty. The only thing I would change is that next time, I’ll probably serve it over polenta or pasta or at the very least with a big chunk of bread to soak up all that wonderful broth!

Foodycat shares Apple Cider Pulled Pork Sandwiches and says, "I hadn't had much luck in the past with pulled pork, but my recent hybrid approach to smoked brisket was so successful that I decided to employ that technique. SPOILER: It was the right decision, producing tender shreds of smoky, flavoursome meat. I made a batch of Dan Lepard's soft slider buns, using 175g dough per bun to make large, meal-size burger buns. I think 150g per bun would probably have been a better portion size. I made a red cabbage and apple slaw, in a honey and cider vinegar dressing. They were the perfect accompaniments to the dish."

Tigerfish of Teczcape - An Escape to Food made these Roasted Cabbage Egg Burgers Topped with Roasted Bell Peppers and says, "This is more than just a basic fried egg. Load it up with roasted cabbage and the egg suddenly turns to something like a vegetable loaf or thick pancake, adding more bulk to the burger. The bell peppers were also roasted to accentuate the flavors."

Thanks to Pam, Foodycat & Tigerfish for joining in this week. If you have a soup, salad or sandwich that you would like to share, just click on the Souper Sundays logo on my side bar for all of the details. 

Have a happy, healthy week! 

Happy Mother's Day to everyone!

Book Giveaway!!! If you are a U.S./Canada reader and are interested in healthier eating and curbing your cravings for less-healthy foods, I am giving away a great new book; The 3-Day Reset: Restore Your Cravings for Healthy Food in Three Easy, Empowering Days by Pooja Mottl. You can see more info on the book and enter to win on the post here.   


  1. teczcape.blogspot.comMay 11, 2014 at 5:04 PM

    Great! Both of us have red bell pepper toppings - yours on soup and mine on sandwich :)

  2. I would never have thought to put banana in soup! I will take your word for it that it works ;)

  3. These really are crazy mix-ins in black bean soup! I don't think I've ever seen ginger in the mix either. Definitely a soup worth trying.

  4. SearchingforspiceMay 12, 2014 at 10:40 AM

    It sounds like a delicious and unusual soup with the banana in.

  5. what a great looking soup and would love to try the cashew cream

  6. I had a great Cuban Black Bean recipe that I cannot find for the life of me now. I am thinking it had a similar flavor to this soup. I want to try this!!!! :)


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