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Black Bean Soup with Greens


  • 1 pound black beans
  • 1 large peeled onion
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mace
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 fresh chili pepper, seeded and chopped (optional)
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2 pound shredded collard greens or kale


Cover the beans in cold water and soak overnight in a large saucepan.When you are ready to cook the beans, add the onion and other carrots, the allspice, mace, garlic and chili. Simmer gently for an hour to an hour and a half, adding salt and pepper after a half hour's cooking.

Puree the soup in a food processor, doing it in batches. Return the puree to the saucepan, bring the puree to a boil and correct the seasoning. Add the greens and heat them through until they are wilted.

To serve, pour the soup into heated individual bowls. If you so desire, each serving can be garnished with a dollop of creme fraiche along with a lemon slice and a teaspoon of dark rum.

For a thicker texture, add rice while the beans are cooking, as well as an additional cup of water. Include potatoes for a hearty meal.

For a tropically-inspired flavor pallette, use 1 1/2 teaspoons of ground cumin and 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes in place fo the allspice and mace. Add three seeded, sectioned, and chopped orangesĀ  and simmer for 10 minutes before pureeing the rest of the soup. Garnish with cilantro.

Adapted from The New York Times

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