Sharing cultural values is crucial and beneficial as well. Talking and sharing cultural values with different people from various parts of the world always bring good insights and pleasant experiences. As interesting and funny many of the values, rituals, home remedies, etc. are, our beliefs make us stronger as human.
When we are sick, we believe that a particular type of ingredients or food will make us feel better. We demand and oblige our caretaker or provider to follow these remedies efficiently. For example, Black Beans Soup is very common in many cultures. It is eaten with grains such as rice and cornmeal or even alone as an actual soup.
“Not only are they good with rice, but black beans also make a healthy addition to soups, salads and pasta dishes. As a legume, black beans contain nutrients found in protein foods such as poultry and seafood, as well as nutrients found in vegetables such as spinach and broccoli. Knowing the nutritional facts for black beans can help you see their value in your diet.” (http://www.livestrong.com/article/238506-black-bean-nutritional-facts/)
This thing with home remedies is by far the best way to get better for many non-life threatening illnesses. Why do we believe that our cultural foods are better than any others? There are two reasons. The first one is because we learn to accept that. The second is the way the dish is prepared. In Haiti, Black Beans Soup is made differently than in many countries.
Soaking the beans is one of the similarities. The complete process is different. After the beans are soaked and cooked with spices, a good portion of the beans and its water are pureed, the liquid is passed trough a sieve or strainer to create a smoother liquid. That bean liquid is mixed with the remaining beans to create the soup. After this process is completed adding other ingredients is up to the cook.
It is so interesting to hear everyone having the same reaction and behavior when I am either feeling week or mention that I need to feel more energized. The first thing a Haitian person will say is to eat some good “Bouillon” with vegetables and meat. The second is to eat Black Beans Soup.
I have to say that it is a fact for me that eating Black Beans Soup does make me feel better when feeling fatigue or a little under the weather. It is not imaginative but a blessing to know that sometimes it is unnecessary to keep popping pills to feel better. Food is all around us. Having a balanced diet helps maintain proper nutrition. Even though black beans require a long cooking process, it is healthy and quickly consumed.
Just remember that soaking the beans is the first step to a great and healthy meal.
- 1 1/2 cups of dried black beans
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves - chopped finely
- 1 medium white onion - sliced
- 2 - 3 whole cloves
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large carrots diced or sliced thin
- 2 - 3 tbsp sweet peppers red, orange or green (if using green add less because the flavor is stronger)
- 2 sprigs of thyme
- 1 full sprig of parsley
- 1 tsp of chicken bouillon seasoning
- 1 tbsp chive - chopped or 1 scallion chopped thinly
- dash of red pepper flakes
- ground black pepper and salt to taste.
- Sort, rinse and drain bean. Set aside
- In a large stockpot, add oil garlic, onion and cloves. Cook for about 2 minutes turning occasionally on low heat. Add the cleaned beans and about 8 to 10 cups of water. Cover ajar and bring to a boil over medium heat. If you need to add more water, add 2 cups of hot water. Cook beans until fully cooked but not overcooked, about 1 hr 15 minutes or longer depending on the beans.
- Reserve 1 cup of cooked beans - set aside. Blend the remaining beans and bean liquid in a blender until completely blended. Strain bean puree and set aside. Discard beans residue.
- In a stockpot, add remaining oil, carrots, peppers, chives/scallion, chicken bouillon powder, parsley, thyme, and red pepper flakes. Sautee for 1 minute and add reserved beans. Gently stir to blend. Add bean puree, season with salt and pepper to taste and let cook for about 20 to 30 minutes uncovered, under medium to low heat until the texture is a bit thicker and creamy like. If using dumpling add them in the last 20 minutes of cooking. Scrape bottom of pot regularly to avoid sticking. When the puree is at the consistency you want, remove and serve hot with white rice or plain polenta.