In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and sauté the onion for about 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the celery and carrots and cook for 2 minutes longer.
Transfer the mixture to a 7-quart slow cooker and add the tomatoes, black beans, and water. Cover and cook on LOW for
about 6 hours.
Add the sweet potato, bell pepper, cumin, bay leaf, oregano, and cinnamon and continue to cook on LOW for 2 to 3 hours longer, until the beans and sweet potato are quite tender.
Using a garlic press, mince the garlic into the soup. Add the chile flakes and salt to taste.
Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish each with jalapeños and avocado.
Serves: 4 - 6
"Cuban culinary traditions reflect the Spanish, African, and Caribbean roots of the island’s population. Beans and rice, as in most Spanish-rooted cultures, are popular. And in Cuba, some kind of root vegetable is often added to the meal. Traditionally, this colorful, hearty soup can be made with pork bones or meat, but the same soup without the oinker is cheaper and even more true to its ingredient flavors and colors. This recipe yields a very thick soup, so add water if you’d like a thinner version. If you’re pressed for time, you could put all the ingredients in at one time, but adding the sweet potato after the beans are mostly cooked helps to preserve its texture and color. "
—From 50 Simple Soups for the Slow Cooker by Lynn Alley/Andrews McMeel Publishing
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