Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Black Bean Soup with Bananas

Yes, you read it right!  There are actually no bananas IN the soup, but are used as a sweet garnish.  The bananas reminded me of the sweetness of plaintains and how good this would be with the spicy soup.  Of all the versions of black bean soup Jacque Pepin has made through the years, this one ranks at the top of his list of favorites.  Now, it's one of mine! 

You will need:

1 pound dried black beans
3 quarts water
1/2 cup rice
4 ounces pancetta or lightly smoked bacon
2 medium onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
8 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp. herbes de Provence (optional but Essential Pepin)
I used 1 tsp. oregano 
1 Packet Goya Sazon con Azafran
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 14-1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes with green chilies (Ro-Tel or Del Monte)
Salt to taste
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1-1/2 tsp. Tabasco sauce
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

Remove and discard any damaged beans and wash well in cool water.  Drain the beans, place them in a bowl, cover with cold water and soak for 3 hours (or overnight).

Drain the beans, put them in a large pot with the 3 quarts of water, and add the rice.  Cut the pancetta or bacon into 1/4 inch cubes and add them to the pot.  Bring to a boil over high heat, uncovered, stirring occasionally.  Skim off and discard any foam that rises to the top.  Reduce heat to very low, cover and cook for 1 hour.

Add the onions, garlic, herbes (if using), chili powder, tomatoes and salt to the pot, stir well and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 1-1/2 hours.

Remove 2 cups of the mixture and puree it in a food processor or blender and return it to the pot.  You want to thicken the mixture slightly while still maintaining some chunkiness.

Mix together the oil, vinegar and Tabasco in a small bowl and add to the soup.

Just before serving, prepare the garnishes.  Peel the bananas and cut them into 1/4-inch slices.  Toss them in a bowl with the lemon juice and pepper.

Top the soup with banana slices and sprinkle with cilantro.
This soup was delicious!  The banana give a little texture and just a hint of sweetness at the end.
Toast a tortilla over an open flame to toast slightly and serve with the soup.

Slightly adaped from Essential Pepin - Souper Soups for Supper
Sharing with Sunday Night Soup!


  1. Sure sounds good to me! I love beans and know there's a bunch of flavor in these:@)

  2. Loving this recipe! Love the spices in the soup....but the bananas, oh my! I can totally imagine how it would taste....and it would taste gooooood!! Thanks for sharing this with Sunday Night Soup Night!


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