We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
4 cans of Goya black beans (make sure they are GMO black beans, much better) 2 medium onion diced chopped garlic, as much as you like (not organic garlic, please) about 4 slices of bacon a couple of bay leaves some chicken broth thyme cumin and/or chili and/or cayenne pepper powder 1 fresh jalapeno pepper chopped (or jarred - doesn't matter) and/or chopped scallions
Cook the bacon. Remove it. Sautee the onion and garlic in the bacon grease a little. Chop up the bacon. Dump out most of the bacon grease, then dump in the beans (don't drain them), onions and garlic, bay leaf, chopped bacon, some chicken broth, salt, and a couple of dashes or so of the flavorings. (I hold the jalapeno in abeyance as not everybody likes it. Can be added as garnish when done)
I don't use cilantro because I hate it. Cilantro - some like it, some do not. It's genetic.
Simmer covered for an hour or so or toss it in a crock pot. Add more chicken broth it it's too thick. Then mash it in the pot with a potato masher. Some people just take half of it and run it thru the blender for a creamier result but I like to mash it. Scallions on top, +/- chopped jalapeno.
I like it with a big dollop of mashed taters in the middle of each person's bowl, but some people prefer sour cream and salsa on it. Whatever.
Even cheaper if you buy the beans dry and cook them yourself. But then I believe a purpose of your recipe was to throw up something quickly. Looks good.
Which reminds me of the time I ordered black beans at a "Mexican" restaurant on Route 1 in the Boston suburbs. The beans had no seasoning whatsoever- not even salt. For that experience and several others, when I visit my sister in NE, and she suggests eating Mexican, I reply " No thank you."
Regarding cilantro: I use it only in response to a lot of jalapenos/serranos/chipotles/moritas. For your recipe I would use 5-6 hot peppers. To each their own. I have found out that the Middle Eastern spice mixture Zatar goes well with hot peppers. Note that Zatar contains thyme. I discovered Zatar at a Lebanese deli where I buy yerba mate.
Try adding chopped oranges atop the sour cream. My Cubans friends serve it this way using mandarin oranges -- the sweet vs. the salty of the soup and the creaminess of the sour cream is tasty. I'm with GWTW, rice underneath.
Love cilantro! If you go to a taqueria here in Colorado, you'll be offered a mixture of cilantro and onions as topping for your street tacos. Its adds tremendously to the final taste, along with avocado salsa and some very hot salso rojo.
For a slightly different taste, cube up and fry some pancetta to top off the soup. Do it first and you can fry everything else using the renderings from the pancetta. Italian-Cuban, the best.
Cilantro sure does add flavor! No dish is complete without that ineffable whiff of armpit of old t-shirt that only cilantro can give. I've learned to cut the yellowed armpits out of old t-shirts before throwing them away, and when I'm out of cilantro I just chop up an old armpit and toss it right in.
Being named Georgia and being a UGA grad, though born in New Orleans (Cajuns and French on Daddy's side, Georgians on Mama's side), I modified Cajun red beans (cooked with garlic, onions, red/green peppers, celery and chopped Italian parsley - NOT/NEVER cilantro!) by adding black beans - and renamed the red and black bean dish 'Bulldog Beans' because these are the UGA school colors.
Bulldog Beans are best served on rice with the slices of the browned smoked sausage of your choice, hot or mild Louisiana Andouille or SGA smoked sausage.
Just this week tried a variation on my quick blackbean soup recipe - added two cans of dark red kidney beans to four cans of Goya black beans. All else stayed the same. Came out surprisingly well. I usually opt for ham slices rather than bacon, and then puree the hell out of half the mixture, add back in the un-pureed half, and save in quart containers. Not that the soup lasts more than a coupla weeks before we've eaten it all.