Chef Douglas Rodriguez of DeLaCosta restaurant in Chicago was born in America, but this recipe is inspired by his mother's black bean soup, which offered robust flavor for people who didn't have money to spend on meat for stock. Here we use both fresh and dried oregano because each imparts a different flavor to the final dish. The ham is listed in the ingredients but since I have always made my black bean without "meat" I made it that way again. This was in Cooking Light, 01/01/2008! Just another take on black beans that I think are great!! Cuban cooking reflects the influence of Spain and Africa as well as other Caribbean countries. Spicy heat is not as pronounced in Cuban cuisine as in other Latin fare.