Chef John Folse's Cuban Black Bean and Ham Soup

Cuban Black Bean and Ham Soup


Prep Time: 1 ½ Hours

Yields: 6–8 Servings


Comment:  Beans are a naturally low-fat food and they contain many essential nutrients, such as fiber and iron. In this recipe, we have combined beans with great tasting herbs and vegetables, creating a wonderful soup that has less than 3 grams of fat per serving.



3 (15-ounce) cans black beans, undrained

1 pound lean or low-fat cubed ham

1 tbsp olive oil

1 cup diced onions

¾ cup diced red bell peppers

2 tbsps minced garlic

½ tsp ground cumin

3 tbsps chopped fresh cilantro

¼ tsp dried thyme

1 (10-ounce) can Rotel tomatoes

1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste

2 quarts fat-free chicken stock

salt and black pepper to taste

low-fat or fat-free sour cream

cilantro for garnish



In a 5-quart stockpot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, red bell peppers and garlic. Sauté vegetables for 3–5 minutes or until softened. Stir in ham and cook 2–3 minutes or until slightly brown around the edges. Season with cumin, cilantro and thyme. Sauté for 1 minute to allow spices to toast. Blend in Rotel and tomato paste. Add chicken stock and black beans. Bring to a rolling boil, reduce to simmer and cook for 30–45 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If a thicker, smoother soup is desired, purée half of the soup in a blender or with a hand mixer. Serve hot with a dollop of low-fat or fat-free sour cream and a sprig of cilantro.