Cookoff from Marta’s Cuban American Kitchen

I have to feed about a dozen football fans on Superbowl Sunday.
I would prefer to make one big pot of something rather than a bunch of little snacks.
My husband suggests chili. One pot. Hearty. Will feed an army.  “It’s a Superbowl Classic,” he argues.
Okay, I might have to agree there, but . . .
Me: “Chili? Really? I don’t know. It just sounds unimaginative. Not feeling it.“ (I pantomime a huge yawn)
Husband: “Chili has meat in it. Adds to the protein content. And did I mention it’s a Superbowl Classic?”  
Still not convinced.
Husband: “What is your suggestion for a one pot, hearty souplike meal, oh Cuban kitchen goddess?”(I think he was going for sarcasm or flattery there, but I kind of like it when he calls me a goddess, but that’s not important right now. . .)
Me: ‘I was thinking of a beautiful, mouthwatering and hearty black bean soup.” (suggested, with multiple adjectives, in my most manipulative Cuban wife way. =D)
Husband: “Yes, I agree that your soup is wonderful, but it’s missing the meat!”
Me: “That’s because it’s not chili, silly, it’s soup. But if you have your heart set on chili, you can just add last night’s picadillo to my black bean soup. Duh.” 
Ooh, snap! Time to do my victory dance in the end zone! and maybe an entire victory lap around the house. =D
Cuban Black Bean Soup/Chili

1 pound black beans, rinsed
4 cups chicken stock – homemade or canned
4 cups water
2 bay leaves
1 Tbsp. Cumin
1 Tbsp. Oregano
Olive oil – a little for sauté, plus 1/4 cup added later to soup
1 large sweet red pepper – cut in half – (1/2 coarsely chopped)
1 large yellow onion – coarsely chopped
1 large green bell pepper – coarsely chopped
4 – 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup red wine
Salt and pepper to taste
1) Pour rinsed beans into a large stockpot with chicken stock.
2) Add bay leaves, cumin, oregano and 1/2 of the sweet red pepper.

3) Turn heat to high and bring to a boil.
4) Boil for about 3 minutes on high heat.
5) Cover and simmer on low for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until beans are tender.
6) Remove the red pepper.
7) In a small skillet, sauté onion, green and red pepper in olive oil until peppers are soft and onion is translucent. (this is your sofrito)
8) Take this sofrito, put it in a blender and puree.

9) Add the pureed sofrito to beans.
10) In the same skillet sauté the garlic until fragrant, but not burned.
11) Add garlic to the beans.
12) Add sugar, red wine and salt and pepper to taste.
13) Continue cooking on medium heat until it’s very thick – 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
14) It will be very thick soup, but if you want to, you can seriously add last night’s picadillo and pretend you’re having chili. 😉