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Sherried Black Bean Soup with Shrimp

Living in Miami, surrounded by Cuban culture, Michelle Bernstein has grown to love black beans, particularly in thick and chunky black bean soup. She makes a silky version by adding cream to the beans, then blending them until frothy.

slideshow  More Recipes With Black Beans

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 6

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  • 1/2 pound dried black beans, soaked overnight in water and drained
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon dry sherry
  • 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon chopped cilantro
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 6 medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 1 teaspoon chopped mint


  1. Cover six 4-inch skewers with water and soak for 2 hours. Put the beans in a medium saucepan, add enough water to cover by 2 inches and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the beans until tender, about 2 hours; add water as needed to keep the beans submerged. Pour off all but 2 1/2 cups of the cooking liquid.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the onion, garlic and green pepper and cook over moderate heat until the vegetables are softened, about 6 minutes. Add the cumin and oregano and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  3. Scrape the vegetables into the saucepan of beans and add the cream, sherry, vinegar and 1 tablespoon of the cilantro. Working in batches, puree the beans in a blender until very smooth. Return the soup to the saucepan and season with salt and pepper; keep warm.
  4. Light a grill. In a small bowl, toss the shrimp with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of cilantro and the mint. Thread 1 shrimp onto each skewer and season with salt and pepper. Grill the shrimp over a hot fire until curled and lightly charred, about 1 minute per side. Pour the soup into tall shot glasses and garnish each glass with a grilled shrimp skewer.

Make Ahead

The sherried black bean soup can be refrigerated for up to 3 days and reheated gently.

Contributed By Photo © Quentin Bacon Published June 2006

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