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Sopa de Caraotas (Venezuelan Black Bean Soup)

Sopa de Caraotas (Venezuelan  Black Bean Soup)
Sopa de Caraotas (Venezuelan Black Bean Soup)

This recipe for traditional Venezuelan Black Bean Soup (Caraotas) with Grilled Arepas will take you on a flavorful journey to Caracas, Venezuela. Reminiscent of childhood memories, this hearty soup is perfect for cozy gatherings, and it pairs beautifully with grilled arepas and a sprinkle of cheese on top. Get ready to indulge in the rich flavors of this beloved Venezuelan dish!

This recipe yields 4 portions


300 grams dried black beans

1 onion, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

2 tomatoes, chopped

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon paprika

1 bay leaf

1 liter vegetable broth

Salt and pepper to taste

Grated cheese (such as Queso de Mano or Queso Fresco) for garnish

Grilled arepas for serving


  1. Rinse the black beans thoroughly and soak them overnight in water. Drain and set aside.

  2. In a large pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, minced garlic, and diced bell peppers. Sauté until the vegetables are softened and fragrant. Stir in the chopped tomatoes, ground cumin, paprika, and bay leaf. Cook for another 2 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.

  3. Add the soaked black beans to the pot, followed by the vegetable broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for about 1 to 1.5 hours, or until the beans are tender. Skim off any foam that forms on the surface during cooking.

  4. Once the beans are cooked and tender, remove the bay leaf. Use an immersion blender or a regular blender to puree a portion of the soup, leaving some beans whole for texture.

  5. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. Adjust the consistency by adding more vegetable broth if desired.

  6. To serve, ladle the black bean soup into bowls. Top each bowl with a sprinkle of grated cheese. Accompany the soup with grilled arepas on the side.


  1. Feel free to customize this recipe by adding garnishes like chopped cilantro, diced avocado, or a squeeze of lime juice for an extra burst of flavor.



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