Featured in almost every Nicoyan meal, black beans contain high levels of anthocyanins, the important flavonoids in red onions and blueberries, and have 10 times the antioxidants of an equivalent serving of oranges. These hearty, one-pot meals are staples in Costa Rican kitchens, but should also find their place on the American dinner table. They are easy to make, high in nutritious vegetables and spices, and cost less than $1 a serving. Rich and hearty, they will serve as a main meal paired with corn tortillas or rice. You can do as the Nicoyans do – make a large batch of bean soup and then enjoy it all week.
1⁄2 chayote squash (about 1 cup), diced
1⁄2 large carrot, peeled and minced
2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
2 teaspoons chopped culantro coyote
1 small sweet onion (like Vidalia), diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
2 pounds black beans, cooked (or six 15-ounce cans, drained)
Salt and pepper (optional)
In a large stock pot, combine all ingredients. Bring stock to a boil; then lower heat and simmer for 25 minutes.
Take 2 cups of soup and blend in a blender or with immersion blender, until combined but still chunky.
Add back into soup pot and stir to combine.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve hot with rice, corn tortillas, or crusty bread; or top with a dollop of cashew cream.
The Blue Zones Kitchen fuses scientific reporting, National Geographic photography and 100 recipes that may help you live to 100. The Blue Zones’ food tradition is going the way of the dodo bird, thanks to the encroachment of the American Food Culture.Learn More