Black beans form the base of this ultimate Latin American soup. The addition of orange juice adds a subtle sweetness and the distinctive Brazilian twist. If no plantains are available, you may use just-ripe bananas.
Ingredients for Baked Plantains:
- 1 large ripe plantain, sliced diagonally into 1/4 inch slices
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup or sweetener of choice
- 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed orange juice
- 2 teaspoons oil (try coconut)
- Pinch of sea salt
- Pinch of chili powder (try chipotle)
- Pinch of ground cinnamon
Ingredients for Black Bean Soup:
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 1/4 cups diced yellow onion
- 4 large garlic cloves, pressed or minced
- 1 teaspoon seeded and diced jalapeño pepper
- 4 cups vegetable stock or water
- 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained well, or 3 cups cooked
- 3/4 cup diced carrot
- 1/2 cup seeded and diced red bell pepper
- 1 cup fresh or frozen corn
- 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 2 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder (optional)
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare the plantains: Place the plantain ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Transfer to a well-oiled baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes, flipping once after 6 minutes. Carefully transfer to a serving plate so the plantains do not stick to the pan as they cool down.
- Meanwhile, place a 3-quart pot over high heat. Place the cumin and chili powder in the pot and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the onion, garlic, and jalapeño, and stir well.
- Lower the heat to medium-high, add the vegetable stock, black beans, and carrot, and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the red bell pepper and corn and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add all the remaining ingredients, except the cilantro, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the cilantro and mix well.
- Top each serving with a few pieces of plantain and enjoy.