Sopa Negra is what we always order at the bottom of the hill. When you’re cycling the bottom of hills can be pretty chilly places even when it’s 70 °F. Sweat soaks your clothes as you climb, then refrigerates you evaporatively when you coast down.
A steaming bowl of black bean soup is perfect at the bottom of hills in San Miguel below La Paz waterfalls, San José de Upala near the Nicaraguan border, and my personal favorite bowl – Ciudad Neily a few thousand feet below San Vito near the Panamanian border.
Sopa Negra Recipe (Black Bean Soup Costa Rican Style)
1 lb (450 gr.) Black beans. Fresh are best but most likely you’ll find them dried.
8 cups (700 ml) chicken broth or water or a mix
½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) salt
1 Tablespoon (15 ml) vegetable oil
salt and black pepper to taste
10-12 sprigs cilantro (coriander leaf) fresh or frozen, not dried!
1 small or medium onion
2 cloves garlic
1 small green, red, or yellow sweet pepper
If beans are dried, cover with water and soak overnight, if they are fresh, just rise them off. Drain the beans and add water or chicken broth, salt, and half of the chopped ingredients. bring to a boil. Cover the pan and reduce heat to very low simmer until beans are nearly soft (~ 2½ hours).
Add the rest of the chopped ingredients, and vegetable oil, and cook an additional ½ hour. Add eggs for the final 2-4 minutes (depending on how you like your eggs cooked).
Remove about half the beans and reserve for gallo pinto or to mash and re-fry (you can leave all the beans in but typically some are removed).
Remove the eggs, peel and place one or two in each bowl before serving with warm corn tortillas and a side of white rice which is traditionally mixed into the soup.