This Cuban Black Bean Soup is both extremely fragrant and flavorful. Garnish with chopped onions and cilantro for further flavor.

Cuban Black Bean Soup

1 lb. dried black beans
12 cups water
½ cup olive oil
3 onions, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp thyme
½ tsp oregano
1 bay leaf
3 tsp sugar
4 tsp vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of cumin

  1. Soak the black beans overnight. Place the beans and 12 cups of fresh water in a large soup pot. Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat, cover the pot, and cook the beans slowly for 1 hour, or until the beans are tender.
  2. In a separate pot, add the olive oil, onions, pepper, and garlic cloves. Sauté lightly for 2-3 minutes stirring frequently.
  3. Take out 1 cup of cooked beans from the large pot and purée them in a blender. Add the black bean purée to the sautéed vegetables and stir. Add the mashed beans and sautéed vegetable mixture to the large soup pot.
  4. Add the thyme, oregano, bay leaf, sugar, vinegar, salt, pepper, and cumin. Mix well. Cover the pot and simmer for 45-50 minutes.
  5. Turn off the heat and let the black bean soup stand for 10 minutes. Serve hot.

Yield: 6-8 servings

It may sound strange to combine coffee and chili, but it adds a strong, robust flavor that complements the chili seasonings quite well. Try adding sour cream as a garnish to your coffee chili.

Coffee Chili

1 cup strong-brewed black coffee
3 cups cooked or canned dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
one 12 oz package frozen vegetarian burger crumbles
1 medium-size onion, chopped
one 4 oz can diced mild green chili peppers, drained
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup water
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Sauté the onion and garlic, stirring frequently, until soft, about 7 minutes.
  2. Add the coffee, water, chili powder, and cumin, and bring to a boil. Add the red kidney beans, chili peppers, and vegetarian burger crumbles. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes.
  3. Stir in the lime juice, cilantro, salt, and pepper, and simmer 5 minutes longer. Serve hot.

Yield:  Serves 4

Better Homes and Gardens is offering a free downloadable cookbook in commemoration of Breast Cancer Awareness month. The cookbook is packed with healthy recipes and beautiful pictures. Here is one of my favorite bean recipes in it.  

If you’re interested in trying traditional succotash, then check out our popular succotash recipe.

Succotash Salad

1 10-ounce package frozen lima beans
1 10-ounce package frozen whole kernel corn
2⁄ 3 cup chopped seeded tomatoes
1⁄ 4 cup sliced green onions
1 tablespoon snipped fresh parsley
1⁄ 4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Italian dressing
1⁄ 4 teaspoon dry mustard

Cook lima beans and corn according to package directions. Drain.

In a large bowl, combine the lima beans, corn, tomatoes, green onions, and parsley.

In a small bowl whisk together vinegar, dressing, and mustard. Pour over lima bean mixture and toss to coat. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

This adzuki bean salad uses common staples in Asian cuisine as adzuki beans are popular in east Asia. It’s an easy, refreshing meal for a hot summer day.

Adzuki Bean Salad

1½ cups canned or cooked adzuki beans, rinsed and drained
3 cups cooked long-grain brown rice
1½ cups coarsely chopped watercress (tough stems removed)
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
¼ cup minced scallions
3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp tamari
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
½ tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
3 tbsp toasted sesame oil
2 tbsp safflower oil

  1. In a large bowl, combine the adzuki beans, brown rice, watercress, cucumbers, and scallions.
  2. In a small bowl, make the salad dress by whisking together the rice wine vinegar, tamari, lemon juice, ginger, salt, and pepper. One at a time, gradually add both oils in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until emulsified and smooth.
  3. Pour the dressing over the adzuki bean salad. Toss gentle to coat the rice and adzuki beans. Serve immediately.

Yield: Serves 4

This bean salad recipe comes courtesy of the South African Avocado Information Service’s Summer Avocado cookbook.  The cookbook is available for free download and has some very creative and tasty avocado recipes. Speaking of avocado recipes, don’t forget to try out one of our favorites: Avocado and Black Bean Burritos.

Pasta, Avocado, and Minty Beans Salad

150g frozen fresh fava beans
150g frozen edamame (soybeans)
1 ripe avocado, cut into chunks
600g pasta
200g Greek Feta, crumbled
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
Juice of 1 lemon
Handful fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  1. Bring two pans of water to the boil. Add the edamame and fresh fava beans to one of the pans, cook for 5 minutes, then drain in a colander. When cool enough to handle, slip the fresh fava beans out of their skins, then discard the skins.
  2. Cook the pasta in the other pan of water as per pack instructions or until al dente. Drain and transfer to a warm serving dish.
  3. Whisk together the olive or avocado oil, lemon juice, and fresh mint. Season lightly.
  4. Lightly toss together with the fava beans, edamame, and avocado and scatter over the feta. Serve immediately

Yield: Serves 4