For those Guatemalans living abroad, the “Caldo de Frijol” (Black Bean Soup) is one of those dishes that will bring them back home. Black beans are an extremely accommodating meal, as you can serve it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. This Guatemalan traditional soup can be prepared in different ways: using a clay pot, using a regular pot (but takes too long), using a pressure cooker or using a slow cooker (my preferred method). When using this last one, you can prepare the beans overnight or on your work day. Leave the slow cooker going in morning before heading to work and come home to a nice warm dinner.
This soup is usually served with white rice and corn tortillas, but it can also be served with additional avocado and chicharrones (fried pork belly or rinds). For me, I love it served with brown rice, finely chopped onion and a little bit of cilantro. To give it an additional Guatemalan twist, you can add a bit of hot sauce and Tortrix (or Fritos).
I tried two different cooking methods with this recipe, and honestly there is not much difference in flavor… but there is in the soups’ consistency. The winner with a thicker and creamier consistency straight out of the pot, is the slow cooker. And I had the best results when soaking the beans the night before. When you soak the beans, you make them easier for your body to digest and, apparently, it also reduces the amount of gas that the beans can cause.
To do so, you have to clean the beans from any impurities (rocks and dirt), and just give them a quick wash through tap water. After that, your beans are ready to soak! Use purified water and use it to cover the beans by 2 inches. Set them on the counter and forget the beans until the next morning. After 8 hours, it’s completely normal to see less water and fatter beans. Just remove them from that soaked water and transfer them to the slow cooker. All these steps are in the recipe below, but I am writing them here as well because soaking them does make a difference, specially in the resulting soup making it thick and creamy!
All around, it’s so perfect for our rainy season: kind of sunny during the morning, and just pouring in the afternoons (even overnight!), and a bowl of this magic soup makes even the dullest day oh-so-bright.
Black Bean Soup
An original recipe by The Foodies’ Kitchen
Enough for 8 big bowls of soup
2 cups of black beans
½ onion, cut in half
2 garlic cloves, peeled and whole
6 to 7 cups of water
2 teaspoons of salt
- Place the beans in a bowl, and remove any impurity as dirt and stones.
- Wash the beans and soak them in purified water for one hour, but preferably over night.
- Strain the beans and add them in the slow cooker, along with the onion, garlic and salt.
- Add 6 cups of water (or 7 if needed), making sure that the water covers the beans at least 2 inches.
- Turn the slow cooker on HIGH and cook the beans for about 4 hours. If you are cooking it in LOW, do it for 8 hours.
- After the selected time, try the beans and if you want them softer, cook for 30 additional minutes.
- Serve immediately.
Have you made this recipe?
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