We begin by cooking up the beans and ham. You need to add the beans, bay leaf, ham, onion, water, and green pepper to a large pot and bring that to a boil on a high heat. Once the water is boiling, you can lower it to a medium heat and allow it to simmer until the beans become soft. This should take about an hour and a half to two hours. You can add more water as necessary until the beans are done cooking.
Your broth should be a little creamy but not very creamy at this point.
Next, get rid of the pepper, onion, and bay leaf and turn down the heat to low. Take about a third of the beans out with a ladle and puree them in a blender or mash them with a spoon. Set those pureed beans aside and keep the beans simmering on the stove while you prepare the remainder of the recipe for Cuban black bean soup.
Next, we are making sofrito, and you’ll start by heating up the sofrito oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add in the garlic and let it sauté, which should just take a few seconds. Then, add your green pepper, Cubanelle pepper, onion, and bay leaf. These need to sauté as well, which takes about five minutes. You’ll know it’s done when the vegetables are soft.
Add in oregano and cumin and cook while stirring for about a minute. Add in the mashed beans here and cook for an additional minute, then take the sofrito off the heat.
To complete the soup, you can stir the sofrito together with the pot of beans and ham. Add in the salt, black pepper, vinegar, and sugar. Give the soup a taste to ensure it is tangy and sweet.
Then, put your pot to cook over low heat and partially cover and simmer, cooking for 30-45 minutes. You are wanting it to get really creamy, and you can check it occasionally until it reaches the right consistency.
Take out the bay leaf and serve the soup. It can be garnished with olive oil.