I like a little heat in my black bean soup, so I add a tiny piece of Scotch bonnet chili pepper. If you don’t, leave it out. This is such a favorite of mine that a bowl of this and a little crusty bread is a meal. I also think of this as my “ice cream sundae” soup: Fill bowls with the soup and let people top them as they like.
2. Stir the chicken broth, sofrito, tomato sauce, alcaparrado, salt, pepper, and chili pepper into the black beans. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Skim off any foam that rises to the surface. Continue boiling until the soup is nice and thick and has just enough liquid to cover the beans. Remove the pot from the heat and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes so the beans soak up a little more of the liquid. Serve hot, ladled into warm bowls, and pass the toppings you have prepared.
Alcaparrado, a mixture of olives, pimientos, and capers sold in bottles, is widely available. There are versions made with pitted and unpittled olives. Go for the pitted version. If you can't find it, substitute an equal amount of coarsely chopped olives suffed with pimientos. Throw in a teaspoon of capers if you like.