---------- Recipe via Meal-Master (tm) v8.01
  
       Title: Cuban Black Bean Soup
  Categories: Soups/stews, Low-cal, Beef, Beans
       Yield: 4 servings
  
       1 lb Beans, dried black                1/2 ts Thyme, dried leaf
       1 c  Onion; chopped                    1/2 ts Oregano, dried leaf
       1 tb Margarine or butter               1/2 ts Salt
       4 c  Water                               1    Pepper, dried whole red
       1    Bouillon cube, beef                 1 c  Pepper, green bell; chopped
      12 oz Ham, cooked lean                  1/3 c  Dark rum (optional)
       2    Bay leaves                          1 c  Sour cream (optional)
  
   Sort and soak beans overnight; drain and discard soak water. In a 4-quart
   pot, saute onion in butter or marg until tender but not browned. Add soaked
   beans, 4 cups water, bouillon cube, ham (cut into 4-6 chunks), bay leaves,
   thyme, oregano, salt & red pepper. Bring to boil; reduce heat. Cover and
   simmer until beans are tender, 1 to 1-1/2 hour. Remove 1 c. beans from
   stew, mash in a bowl with potato masher or fork. Add mashed beans to stew;
   stir to thicken. Remove ham and dice. Remove bay leaves and red pepper, if
   used and discard. Add diced meat, green pepper and rum (if desired) to
   beans. Cover and simmer 15 minutes. Serve beans over rice and top with sour
   cream if desired.
  
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