It has been so long since we made black bean soup here at Al Dente HQ that I wanted a recipe to lean on so I could nail a more authentic Latin American flavor. Since I was using Goya beans and Goys Sazon, I figured Goya would have a good recipe.
I figured incorrectly.
What Goya did offer was an incomplete puzzle. Three ingredients listed — adobo peppers in sauce, chopped onions and cilantro — are never referenced in the instructions. Had I been following this direction to the letter, I would have found myself with a lot of garnish and without much in the way of flavor. Onions provide an important flavor in this dish and cutting them out of the equation is senseless.
So, I took the ingredients offered by one of world’s largest food manufacturers and attempted to make an actual recipe.
WHAT WORKED: Goya Sazon. Combined with cumin, Sazon helps gringos make semi-authentic Mexican food. It’s like garlic and Italian food, or curry and Indian food, or whatever they use in British food.
WHAT DIDN’T: The Goya recipe instructions.
WHAT DID THE WIFE SAY: Three bowlfuls later, I think she liked it.
WILL IT MAKE ANOTHER APPEARANCE: Very likely. It’s an easy, inexpensive, filling weeknight dinner.
Black Bean Soup
By Jared Paventi
- 2 tbsp. canola oil
- 1 small onion, chopped finely
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. minced garlic
- Fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 packet Goya Sazon with Culantro and Annatto
- 2 tbsp. sherry cooking wine
- 1 cup water
- 2 14-16 oz. cans of black beans, undrained
- 1 tsp. brown sugar
- 1 tsp. white distilled vinegar
- Sour cream, tortilla chips and shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and translucent, about five minutes. Add the cumin, garlic and sazon. Stir and cook until fragrant, about 30 to 60 seconds. Add sherry and bring to a boil. Stir in the water, beans, brown sugar, a small handful of cilantro leaves and vinegar. Return the soup to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.
Carefully transfer 1/4 of the soup to a blender and pulse until smooth OR use an immersion blender and pulse 2 to 3 times to puree some of the soup. Return the soup to the pan (if necessary) and cook an additional five minutes. Serve hot with sour cream, extra cilantro leaves, cheese and chips.