As part of my review of the book Gran Cocina Latina: The Food of Latin America by Maricel E. Presilla, I tested three recipes, two of which you will find here: her Havana-style Black Bean Soup and her Salted Cod Casserole. Sometimes, when I say I wish the earth would stand still so that I could explore one or two cookbooks from cover to cover, Grand Cocina Latina always makes the list, along with Dorie Greenspan’s Around my French Table, the Nigel Slater “journals” and basically anything by Yotam Ottolenghi. No wonder Presilla won the James Beard Award for Book of the Year.
Confession time: Years ago, during my vegetarian period, I often made a meal out of a black bean… cup-a-soup. One bite of this homemade version and here was the taste I remembered so much, but on full blast. I just might have squeaked: “This is my soup!.” It’s a bit labor-intensive, granted, but oh so worth it. Plus it’s healthy, nourishing and even vegan. What more can you ask from a simple bowl of heaven? Enjoy.