The Argyle Club’s Cuban Black Bean Soup (1961)

This recipe comes from a very recent acquisition–Amy Vanderbilt’s Complete Cookbook (1961). My mum gave me this one for Christmas this year, and lemme tell ya, this one seems like a goody, especially since it features illustrations by Andrew Warhola!

Yeah, Warhola as in Warhol.

As I was flipping through the pages I realized that Vanderbilt’s cookbook is chock-full of recipes that are interesting, practical and appealing! It has the potential to become a go-to book for me.

For my first dish from this cook book I chose Cuban Black-Bean soup because one of the main ingredients was ham. And I had ham to burn–even after making my split-pea soup.

black bean recipe 2black bean recipe 1

I didn’t change it much. Instead of using a chicken boullion packet in lieu of “beef extract” and subbing basil, parsley, and tarragon to replace the “herbes fines,” (whatever the hell that is). I also switched out bacon for salt pork.

So it was basically the same recipe–except for those 3 changes I just mentioned.

When I put in that hunk of meat, I expected that I would have to bring it out and chop it up at some point, but after 4 hours, it just fell apart into lovely little strands.

I also thought that this soup would be WAAAAY too mild for today’s palates, but I think I was wrong. It was a very nice soup and didn’t need much in the way of extra heat. It was perfect if you have a big group who like varying amount of spiciness.

But if you wanna kick it up, I would recommend adding a small can of green chiles while cooking, or adding 2 tsp or so of salsa verde when serving, or just letting everyone add cayenne and/or chili powder at the table to taste. I did both the salsa verde and cayenne pepper with some sour cream and Monterey Jack cheese (and homemade baked tortilla chips, of course).

black bean soup finished

Anyway, this was tasty and used up a good deal of ham, So right on, Amy Vanderbilt! And right on, Argyle Club of San Antonio for creating this dish!

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6 Responses to The Argyle Club’s Cuban Black Bean Soup (1961)

  1. Mum says:

    Looks delicious! I didn’t get this post in my Facebook feed…why not, do you think?

  2. That looks and sounds delicious. Was Amy any relation to Gloria? Whenever I hear the name Vanderbilt I think of a pair of Gloria Vanderbilt PURPLE jeans I had in the 70s. I thought I was the freaking bees knees. Here in the UK they were considered the epitome of cool. Probably something to do with an association with the whole wealthy American STUDIO 54 lifestyle stuff? I dunno, but they were awesome jeans. They had a little yellow swan embroidered on one of the back pockets.

  3. I made my mum take me to a big department store to get them…

  4. phairhead says:

    No relation, though Amy did throw herself out of her penthouse apartment in Manhattan. Still dispusted as to whether it was suicide as she was prone to vertigo. The more you know!

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