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Cuban Comfort Food - Black Bean Soup with Avocado

February 22, 2015
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One of the latest trends in food is Cuban cuisine which is a mix of Spanish, African and Caribbean tradition.  Toronto already has a good selection of these Hispanic-style restaurants.  

One of my favourites is La Cubana on Roncesvalles, owned by Corinna Mozo. Corinna has followed her grandfather’s ‘food’ prints, who owned a lunch counter in Havana before the revolution. The menu is comprised of daily lunches, dinners and a fantastic brunch menu, all of which keep the line ups to get in a regular occurrence.This popular west-end joint is also getting a second location, which has just opened on Ossington.
They have the best-tasting Cubano sandwich I’ve ever had, as well as a divine traditional medianoche, layered with molasses-rubbed pork, smoked ham and gruyere cheese, all at a low-price. The sides are include traditional Cuban fare, like a selection of rice and beans and fried plantains for just $4 per side. It’s a great, inexpensive family spot with a fantastic old-world atmosphere.  

Try a my version of a black bean soup at home:

Black Bean Soup with Avocado

Makes 4 servings.

2 tsp vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped carrot
2 tsp minced fresh garlic
1 19oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
2½ cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock
½ tsp granulated sugar
¾ tsp cumin
¼ cup chopped cilantro or parsley
¼ cup diced avocado and reduced-fat sour cream (optional)

1. Spray a nonstick saucepan with cooking oil, add the vegetable oil and place over medium heat. Cook the onion, carrot and garlic, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until softened.
2. Set aside ½ cup (125 mL) of the black beans. Add the remaining beans, stock, sugar and cumin to the vegetable mixture. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and cook for 15 minutes or until the carrots are tender.
3. Purée the soup in a blender or food processor, working in batches if necessary. Return the purée to the saucepan. Stir in the reserved beans.
4. Ladle into individual bowls and garnish with cilantro and avocado and sour cream (if using).

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Make ahead: Make the soup up to 2 days in advance. Add more stock when reheating.

Nutritional Information per Serving
Calories 140
Carbohydrates 25 g
Fibre 7.1 g
Protein 8.2 g
Total fat 3.2 g
Saturated fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 460 mg

Source: The Best of Rose Reisman (Whitecap Books) By: Rose Reisman
Photo: Mike McColl, from The Best of Rose Reisman (Whitecap Books)

La Cubana
392 Roncesvalles Ave.
Toronto, ON
Toronto gets the Havana kiss with this new Cuban snack diner in Roncesvalles Village.
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