Sopa de frijoles, also known as black bean soup, is a traditional Honduran stew typically prepared using black beans. Other ingredients added to the dish include chicharron (pork rind), small pork ribs and boneless oxtail.
Some also add fruit or vegetables as garnishes to the dish. Sometimes ingredients like guineitos (green bananas or plantains), cassava or red and green bell peppers are also added. The meat is occasionally substituted with hard-boiled eggs and, to complete the meal, the dish is often topped with fresh avocado slices, cilantro, pickled red onions, a tortilla, white rice or a mixture of all these ingredients.
The flavor, size, and quality of the black beans used to prepare Sopa de frijoles vary from other versons eaten in Europe. They are also known to have less starch, resulting in a less thick and more consumable soup.
Origin & Cultural Significance
Many gospel and blues songs feature references to sopa de frijoles. It was considered a staple food for the majority of the slaves on the southern plantations.
The origin dates back to pre-Columbian cuisine, when beans were consumed very regularly. With the advent of the conquistadors, the concept of using these beans to prepare soups and stews spread throughout Spain and Europe.
As well as Honduras, Sopa de frijoles is also consumed in countries like Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba and Venezuela. There are several different variations of sopa de frijoles in Mexican cuisine including sopa de frijol negro and sopa de habas.
Honduran Sopa de Frijoles Recipe
- Frijoles (black beans) - 1 lb
- Pork ribs (small) - 4
- Plantains, peeled and cut - 3
- Cassava, peeled and cut - 1 lb
- Olive oil - 4 tbsp
- White onion, sliced - 1
- Small red bell pepper, diced - 1
- Garlic, chopped - 6 cloves
- Cilantro, chopped - 1 bunch
- Cumin - 1 tbsp
- Begin by soaking the beans for about 5 hours.
- Now, take a large pot and heat olive oil in it.
- Throw in the sliced onion and fry it for about 1 minute. Cook over a medium flame, and make sure to stir frequently.
- Next, add the garlic and bell pepper. Combine all the ingredients well and allow them to cook for about 1 minute over a low flame.
- It’s time to transfer the beans to the pot.
- Add boiling water to the pot, making sure it covers the beans by about 2 inches.
- Throw in the cilantro. Combine well and let it cook over medium heat for approximately 1 hour. Make sure the pot is covered and keep stirring every now and then.
- Take the pork chops and transfer them to a pan. Sear over a medium-high flame until both surfaces are browned. Add them to the pot of beans.
- Cook for an additional 20 minutes after adding 1 cup boiling water.
- Add the cassava and plantains to the pot.
- Next, add the cumin, salt and pepper.
- Combine everything well, cover the pot and allow the dish to cook again for about 30 minutes. Let it cook until the cassava starts to break.
- Once done, serve the soup with white rice, grated fresh cheese, avocado and tortillas.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 673Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 37mgSodium: 219mgCarbohydrates: 107gFiber: 8gSugar: 30gProtein: 12g