Other names: Black Adzuki, Black, Turtle soup, Mexican Black or Spanish Black.
General Information: This old heirloom variety was first introduced in the late 1700's, and has beautiful, jet black seeds. The hardy bush plants are disease and heat resistant, and are wonderful in soup!
The black turtle bean is a small, black, oval shaped bean. They turn a dark brown color when cooked. This is a common bean in South and Central American and is also popular in China where it is fermented for many uses. When cooked with other beans, the color from the black turtle runs through the other beans giving the whole pot a dark color. Black turtle beans tend to break up when cooked. You can lessen this by not pre-soaking them.
High in iron, the black turtle bean has an earthy, sweet flavor with a hint of mushrooms. They cook up in 1 to 1-1/2 hours, expanding three times their dry size and are often served in thick soups with rice. This bean is a basic staple for many Mexican, Caribbean and Latin American soups and side dishes.