Sometimes, dinner turns into breakfast. Sometimes this happens when the leftovers are so delicious, you don’t want to wait until lunch to have them. Sometimes, you get up early to enjoy your quiet kitchen and make dinner for later in the day, or test a recipe for your blog and take a picture. Then it might happen that you give the bowl to your husband and he decides to eat the whole thing for his breakfast because he loves it so much. Soon after, your friend stops by to pick up your son for the baseball carpool, sees the potful and says, “ooh, is that black bean soup?” “Yep, want some?” Vigorous nod. Small bowl offered. “Mmmmmmmmmm”, Saturday morning bliss. Oh, and, by the way, you might end up with this as your cooking snack.

All this is to say 1) dinner can be breakfast and 2) apparently, this soup is irresistible. So make it.

Cuban Black Bean Soup


4 oz pancetta

2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

¼ cup chopped onion (1 small or ½ medium-large)

1 green pepper, diced small and divided

2 cans black beans, partially drained

1 cup broth*

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp salt

Splash of red wine vinegar

Sour cream

Chopped cilantro


Place a soup pot over medium high heat.  Cook the pancetta in this for about 6-7 minutes, until fat has rendered and the meat is crispy.  Scoop the meat out into a bowl, leaving the drippings. Pour in a bit of the broth to loosen the bits of flavor at the bottom of the pan.  Add the garlic, onion and about ⅔ of the pepper. Cook these until softened, about 5-6 minutes. Stir in the cumin, oregano and salt. Add the beans and broth.  Let this simmer for about 10 minutes. Using an immersion blender, puree about half the soup. Stir in the splash of vinegar. Serve the soup topped with some sour cream, the reserved green pepper, some cooked pancetta and chopped cilantro.

*I say broth because you can use any sort that you want or have around.  It is equally good with vegetable, beef or chicken. Each one will certainly give the soup a different flavor, but all are tasty options.

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