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Trinidad Black Bean Soup
(Sopa de frijoles negros)
It's a hearty soup--and heady; serve hot to 6 people--preferably at night with ocean breezes; think tropics and Trinidad, British and Caribbean. Maybe a rum nightcap on the verandah.
Garnish: curls of lime zest and either lime juice or pepper wine (see below)
Soak beans overnight in cold water. Drain, discarding water, and put beans in a large saucepan with the hunk of corned beef, onion, garlic, parsley, thyme, celery, green onions, bay leaf, stock, and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 2 hours, until beans are very tender.
Remove from heat. Discard bay leaf, fish out the corned beef hunk and set aside. Lightly puree the soup, then return to the saucepan and adjust for seasoning. Shred the corned beef and stir in. When you're ready to serve, ladle into bowls, lace with the lime juice or pepper wine, and top with the lime curl.
Pepper Wine: Make in advance; it keeps forever.