Cuban Black Bean Soup
Drain and rinse beans. Finely chop 1 onion and half of the second and set aside. Finely chop 1 bell pepper and set aside. Cut the other into quarters.Advertisement
Combine the beans, the remaining half onion, the quartered bell pepper, ham hock, bay leaves and water in a pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook until the beans are tender, about 1 1/2 hours.
Transfer the ham hock to a clean cutting board and let cool. Discard the onion, bell pepper and bay leaves. Transfer 1 cup of the beans to a small bowl and mash with a fork. Remove the meat from the ham hock and chop.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add Cubanelle (or jalapeno) and the reserved chopped onions and bell pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 4 minutes. Add cumin, oregano and salt; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add vinegar, scraping up any browned bits. Add the mashed beans and cook for 1 minute. 5. Add the vegetables and ham to the beans in the pot. Heat over medium heat, stirring, until hot, about 5 minutes. Serve topped with roasted red peppers, jalapeno, avocado, red onion and lime wedges, if desired.
Tip: Also called Cuban peppers or Italian frying peppers, Cubanelle peppers are long, slender and light yellow-green when unripe-which is how they are usually sold (they turn red when allowed to ripen). They have mild to very moderate heat and a rich, fruity flavor.
2 1/2 lean protein, 2 starch, 1/2 fat, 1/2 vegetable