Costa Ricans have long had a tradition with soup, particularly during the rainy season which runs from May to December when it helps to mitigate the effects of the cold weather (a few degrees below dry season weather) and even the usual cold symptoms.
Even though typical recipes such as the traditional olla de carne are disappearing, the demand for convenient and easy-to-prepare food continues benefiting the sales of packaged soup, like the “Maruchan, which ironically is an American producer of instant noodles.
The convenience of the Maruchan cannot be disputed. In the US, it is often a staple diet of “poor college students”, but in Costa Rica it is often a staple of busy families, where both of the breadwinners work and little time to cook a homemade hearty soup. It is also great for a quick lunch, open the package, into the microwave and voila!
But, if you can take the time to make a homemade soup – mother please – here is one Costa Rican soup recipe that can’t miss the spot:
Sopa Negra (Black Bean Soup)
- 1 lb (450 gr.) black beans. Fresh are best but most likely you’ll find them dried.
- 8 cups (700 ml) chicken broth or water or a mix
- ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) salt
- 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) vegetable oil
- salt and black pepper to taste
- 6 eggs
- 10-12 sprigs cilantro (coriander leaf) fresh or frozen, not dried!
- 1 small or medium Onion
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1 small green, red, or yellow sweet pepper
- If beans are dried, cover with water and soak overnight, if they are fresh, just rise them off.
Drain the beans and add water or chicken broth, salt, and half of the chopped ingredients.
- Bring to a boil.
- Cover the pan and reduce heat to very low simmer until beans are nearly soft (~ 2½ hours).
- Add the rest of the chopped ingredients, and vegetable oil, and cook an additional ½ hour.
- Add eggs for the final 2–4 minutes (depending on how you like your eggs cooked).
- Remove about half the beans and reserve for gallo pinto or to mash and refry (you can leave all the beans in but typically some are removed).
Recipe courtesy of Recipes Wiki Costa Rican Soups