FRIJOLES BLANCOS-White bean soup

As I have mentioned before, my father loved soup more than any other food. To him a meal was not complete if it didn't include soup. So my mother made wonderful soups nearly every day of their life together. This one is a favorite of my son, Aaron, and nephew, Dano, who requested I post it. 

This week I'll tell you a little about my father. He was known by his family and friends as Aldito, charming, cheerful, creative, a great dancer and life of every party (and as a young man he never missed a party!), the man who could figure out how to fix anything, the friend who would help you when ever you needed assistance. As I thought about this, I realized with joy that my sons are like him in many ways! 

Aldito grew up in the small town of Tuinucú, which is located in the belly region of the crocodile shaped island of Cuba.  He was very bright and loved to learn, however, in contrast to Mamina (story here), the young Aldito did not like school. He was a headstrong child, who did not like rules or structure. He told us that because of this, he was often physically punished, mostly by his teachers. He would hide to keep from having to go to school, sometimes in a tree. Being found brought on another beating. "It was just the way things were done in those days",  he explained. I hope humankind has evolved beyond this, I know my father did.

He wanted to protect his daughters from that kind of maltreatment, so he made a rule for himself that he would never spank us, and never did! He would often remind us, "no man should ever lay a hand on you, except in a kind and loving way".  

Almost as amazing is what my sister, Nina, remembers. Our very loud and boisterous father would become unusually calm and soft spoken when he needed to address any serious misbehaving on her part. She knew immediately this meant he was serious about something she should recognize as unacceptable.  

Above all he was my Papillo. A wonderful father who was always there for me and who not only supported me in all my dreams, but was even willing to explore them with me. 

My father is no longer on this Earth, I can't see his "1000 watt smile" (as my friend Rosa Hernandez described it), but I can still feel it! 

Gracias Papillo! 

FRIJOLES BLANCOS-White bean soup

1 lb bag (2 cups) dry white beans (also called Navy beans)
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 carrots
A soup bone, or a piece of ham
1 Tablespoon salt

2-3 Tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 green bell pepper
1 medium onion
4-5 garlic cloves
chorizo (this is a Spanish sausage, not spicy)
1 8 oz can tomato sauce

Rinse beans and then cover with water and soak overnight. Next day pour out soaking water and add fresh water so it is about 2-3 inches above the beans, add potatoes, carrots and meat. If using a pressure cooker, cook 20-25 minutes after pressure is reached. Otherwise use a heavy pan, set it at the back of the stove, covered, and cook on medium heat for about 2 hours.  Add more water as needed. You can also cook them on high in a slow cooker for 7-8 hours. Add the tablespoon of salt after the beans are soft.

Chop up pepper, onion, garlic. Sauté in olive oil. When onions are getting translucent, add chorizo and tomato sauce and cook a few minutes longer, then add sofrito to beans. Stir and cook, covered, on low, for about 15 more minutes. It will thicken a bit and all the flavors will blend. Adjust salt if necessary.

A very hearty and comforting soup! 

6 Response to FRIJOLES BLANCOS-White bean soup

June 14, 2012 at 5:20 PM

Siempre preparo esta sopa, a toda mi familia les gusta mucho.
Gracias Maria por compartir la receta con todos!!

June 17, 2012 at 5:07 PM

Thank you, Maria. This is great! I actually wore my guayabera to church today in memory of Papillo. Hope he had a great Father's Day...

June 19, 2012 at 6:02 PM

Maria this post was beautiful, it made me cry again!

August 20, 2015 at 1:01 PM

Estoy haciendo la receta en estos momentos. Ya huele delicioso.

September 19, 2017 at 2:44 PM

Thank you for the recipe. It's been awhile since I've made this and it was sure helpful to see your recipe.

April 20, 2018 at 8:50 PM

Love your story about your Dad may he RIP I will be trying your recipe !

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