Black bean soup #2

This is a hearty and flavorful soup that is a meal in itself.

Bone from 1/2 of a smoked ham plus 2c diced leftover ham
1 thick slice of smoked ham
1 lb dry black beans
2 bay leaves
Baking soda
2 TB olive oil
2 c diced onion
1 c each diced celery and carrot
2 garlic cloves, minced
Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce*

Rinse and pick over the beans for stones and other foreign matter. Place in a soup pot with the ham bone or slice, bay leaves, a big pinch of salt, a big pinch of baking soda (helps the beans keep their black color) and about twice as much water as needed to cover the beans. Bring to a simmer and cook until the beans are almost done, 1 to 1-1/2 hours. During cooking check the pot and add water if needed to keep the beans just covered. If using a ham bone, remove and discard. If using a slice, remove, dice, and reserve. Discard bay leaves.

In another pot, heat the olive oil and saute the onions, celery, carrot, and garlic until soft but not browned, about 10 minutes. Pour in the beans and their cooking liquid and simmer the mixture for 10-15 minutes. Remove about 1/4 of the soup to a food processor along with 1 to 3 of the chipotle peppers and with some of the sauce (more peppers = more zing in the final soup). Process to a puree and return to the soup. Add diced ham and simmer, stirring, for a final 5 minutes, Check seasoning and serve garnished with sour cream, fresh cilarntro, and/or salsa.

* Available in cans in most supermarkets, look in the Mexican section. You can freeze what you don’t use.

Explore posts in the same categories: Ethnic, Soups

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