Last week was soup week. I didn’t set out to make soup the evening meal several times this past week. The menu just came together that way. George requested Black Bean soup and I had seen a recipe for a Pea and Leek soup that looked really great. While I could have pushed one of the soups into the next week, I knew if I did that I would forget about it during menu planning until who knows when. So we souped out this past week. And no, this wasn’t about lent. Both of these soups included meat – a variety of pork to be precise.
I make the Black Bean soup from dried beans that are simmered with a ham hock – different from my previously shared recipe. We liked this one much better. Today I will share the recipe for the Black Bean soup – tomorrow the recipe for the Pea and Leek soup. This Black Bean soup really sticks to your ribs. A great meal for a cold and blustery day – the type of weather we seem to be having over the last few weeks ( I can see it snowing in the foothills as I write!) This recipe is my take on a Tyler Florence recipe. It takes about 3 hours – start to finish, so don’t plan on making this from scratch when you get home from work!
Black Bean Soup
Feeds 6 with very healthy appetites!
- 1 lb dried black beans
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 onions, roughly chopped
- 1 green bell pepper – seeded and chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tbl. oregano
- 2 tbl ground cumin
- 1 smoked ham hock
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
- 2 quarts low sodium chicken broth
- 3 tbl olive oil
- kosher salt and pepper
Wash the beans, drain and remove any debris.
Place the garlic, onion and bell pepper in a food processor and puree.
Add the olive oil to a large pot set over medium heat. Add the oregano and cumin. Add the vegetable puree and saute about 7 to 10 minutes, or until fragrant. Add the beans, ham hock, bay leaves, jalapeno and chicken stock. Slightly cover the pot and simmer until the beans are tender – about 2 hours.
When the beans are cooked, remove the bay leaves and the ham hock. Let the ham hock cool and then remove the meat from the hock. Shred or cut into pieces and set aside.
Using a blender or an immersion blender ( fondly referred to as a “boat motor” in our house) to puree the soup just until thickened. Season with salt and pepper and return the meat to the soup.
Serve the soup with any or all of these condiments – sour cream, cheddar cheese, chopped green onion.
I serve this with corn meal, cheddar cheese and jalapeno muffins. Guaranteed to warm you on the coldest, windiest day!