All About Beans, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes, Vegan on a Shoestring

Cuban Black Bean Stew

Anyone who has been following this blog, however idly, has probably picked up the fact that I do love beans.

So much so that I am travelling the globe…via the internet mainly…sadly :/ … in search of bean recipes.

In fact, I’ve opened a new blog category… in honour of beans … 🙂

This stew is an absolute classic, with, inevitably many variations.  I’ve pulled this recipe together from several of the variations I’ve found, and as far as I can gather, a vegan version is traditional….even though many recipes include meat.

The flavours are simple and well-balanced: I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again … less is so often more.

One of the many marvellous things about this dish is its beautiful inky colour…. it’s hopelessly moreish and meltingly mellow….

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do….


Cuban Black Bean Stew – Food For Peace


for 4

the beans need soaking for at least 24-36 hours prior to cooking – the longer the better

and the stew needs about 4 hours to cook…but it’s worth it !


Bean Stew:

  • 500gms.dried black beans – I used turtle beans – and soaked them for 36 hours
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1/2 green bell/sweet pepper
  • 1/2 red bell/sweet pepper
  • 4 large garlic cloves
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 tbs. fresh/dried oregano.
  • 1.5 tsps. cumin seeds
  • 1.5 – 2 tsps. salt
  • 1.5 – 2 tsps. black peppercorns
  • about 1 litre of water …maybe a little more…


  • 1 medium onion
  • 1/2 red bell/sweet pepper
  • 1/2 green bell/sweet pepper
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. black peppercorns
  • 50ml. olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lime


*Soak beans for 24-36 hours …or more…- changing the water twice daily…

  • Peel onion and slice in half.
  • Remove seeds and pith from bell pepper halves, and slice in two.
  • Peel garlic cloves.
  • Grind the cumin, the peppercorns and the salt together to a fine powder.
  • Finely chop fresh oregano if using.
  • In a large deep-sided pan, place the onion, the green and red pepper halves, 4 bay leaves and 4 whole peeled garlic cloves.
  • Add the spices and salt.
  • Add finely chopped oregano.
  • Add the pre-soaked beans.
  • Add enough water to cover everything by about 3 cm: About 1 litre?
  • Bring to the boil and boil rapidly for 6 mins.
  • Reduce heat, and cover partially. Leaving a gap of about 3 cm. (see photo)
  • Simmer gently for 2 hours.  Check occasionally, adding just a little more water if necessary….but don’t overdo it ….this stew shouldn’t be thin….

Prepare the Sofrito:

  • Peel and finely dice the second onion.
  • Remove seeds and pith from the remaining pepper halves, and finely dice.
  • Peel and crush 3 cloves garlic.
  • Grind 1 tsp. cumin seeds, 1/2 tsp. salt + 1 tsp peppercorns until fine.
  • In a wide pan, on a medium heat, add 50 ml. olive oil.
  • Add diced onions and peppers, reduce heat a little and sauté gently for 15 mins.
  • Add crushed garlic: sauté for 2 mins.
  • Add ground spices: sauté for 30 secs.
  • Remove from heat.

Bring everything together:

When the stew has been cooking for about 2 hours, remove from heat.

  • Remove the pepper and onion chunks, and the garlic cloves, and place in a blender with 2-3 ladles of bean cooking juice, and a ladleful of beans.
  • Blitz until smooth, and return the puree to the bean stew.
  • Stir in.
  • Add the Sofrito.  Stir in.
  • Cover, and cook for another 90 mins. or so, until the beans are truly tender.
  • 5 mins. before serving, add the juice of 1 lime and extra seasoning as desired ( I added an extra pinch of salt).
  • Simmer gently for a further 5 mins. and then remove from heat and leave to stand, covered for 5 mins.








La Paz






2 thoughts on “Cuban Black Bean Stew”

  1. Funny you should mention, your love of beans does shine through! I’m new to beans, been avoiding them all my life til I started eating kind. I’m digging beans now, and black beans are my fave so I’m definitely making this soon. Thanks VFFP!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello! Yes, I’m with you on that, I avoided beans too… lol… but I’m figuring out that its all in the way I cook them …a long soak and a slow cook ….just like most of these traditional recipes…I even came across a recipe where they soaked them until they started sprouting…before cooking them…must try that soon …anyway, thanks so much for your comment and let me know how the stew turns out? Best Wishes. Thanks again.

      Liked by 1 person

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