Makes 2 quarts
-2 c. black beans
-3 T. olive or sunflower seed oil
-1 lg. onion, finely diced
-2 sm. carrots, finely diced
-3 celery ribs, finely diced
-1 green bell pepper, finely diced-3 garlic cloves, minced
-1 bu. of cilantro, stems finely sliced and leaves more roughly choppe
-1 T. toasted ground cumin seeds
-1 t. Spanish smoked paprika, or more to taste
-2 bay leaves
-1/4 t. cayenne, or more to taste
-1/2 c. sour cream
Juice of 1/2 lime, or more to taste
Rinse the beans and put them in a pressure cooker with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 10 cups water. Bring the pressure to high, then maintain it for 30 minutes. Release it and let it fall by itself. Taste the beans. If they’re not soft enough, simmer them until they are.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium skillet. Add the onion, carrots, celery, green pepper, garlic, and cilantro stems. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the onion has softened. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and add the cumin, paprika, bay leaves, and cayenne.
Lower the heat and cook for 10 minutes longer, stirring occasionally and taking care not to let the paprika and cayenne burn. Add 1 cup water and continue to cook until the onion is soft, about 8 minutes.
Stir the onion base into the beans along with all but 3 tablespoons of the chopped cilantro leaves and cook over low heat, covered, for 20 minutes. Taste for salt.
Mix the sour cream, lime juice, and remaining cilantro together and season with a pinch of salt. Serve a spoonful in each bowl of soup.