Frijoles Negros (Black Beans Soup)


Frijoles Negros (Black Beans)


1 lb black beans (dried)

10 cups water

2 bay leaves

¼ cup olive oil

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp dried oregano

2 medium onions (finely chopped)

1 green pepper (finely chopped)

1 red pepper (finely chopped)

8 garlic cloves (chopped or minced)

1 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp vinegar

4 tsp salt

2 tbsp cooking wine

Pepper to taste


Rinse the beans with tap water. In a large bowl, add the beans and cover with water 10 cups or about 2” to 3” above, and let it soak overnight (the same water in which they will cook).

When beans are puffy, transfer them into a stockpot together with the same water where they soaked. Add the bay leaves and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce to medium and cook for about ½ hour.

In the meantime prepare the “sofrito” or sauce. Using a medium skillet, add about 4 tbsp of olive oil, and sauté onion, red and green pepper and garlic (over low heat). Simmer for about 5 minutes. Add mixture to the pot of beans. Add cumin, dried oregano, and salt and continue simmering on medium for about 1 hour or until tender. Add vinegar, cooking wine, the remaining of olive oil and sugar and simmer for ½ hour more. If the soup is too thin and liquid, continue cooking for a little longer and uncovered.

Can be served alone or on top of white rice.

For faster preparation:

For faster preparation, you may use a pressure cooker. You can soak the beans in water for about 2-3 hours prior to cooking. Add them to the pressure cooker together with the same water and add the bay leaves. (make sure water covers about 2” to 3” above the beans, being careful not to go above the maximum limit allowed on the pot; check the pressure cooker “max line”). Don’t pressure cook, yet; just cover loosely with a lid,  leaving the por about half way opened, to avoid spilling.. Cook for about 20 minutes (stirring occasionally) and in the meantime, prepare the “sofrito”.

Follow same instructions for the “sofrito” as above, except for the following: Once you finish cooking the “sofrito” or sauce, add it to the pot (pressure cooker) where the beans have been simmering for about 20 minutes. Add the cumin, dried oregano, and salt. Now, you can close the lid tightly and pressure cook for 40 to 45 minutes over medium heat.

Remove from the stove, wait until all pressure is released and open the pot. Make sure beans are tender. Add the sugar, wine and vinegar and stir. Cook uncovered for about 5 more minutes. If there is still too much liquid and it is still too thin, continue cooking uncovered for a little longer.

Serve on top of white rice or alone.

Serving: 6-8

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