Tuesday, October 11, 2011

(Another) Black Bean Soup

Hannah shared a fantastic vegetarian black bean soup in her post, http://todayathannahshouse.blogspot.com/2011/05/black-bean-soup.html.  I happen to love black beans, and the more ways I have to cook them, the happier I am.  I have another black bean soup that I love to cook.  You cook it with a leftover ham bone.  Then, the whole soup tastes like ham!  When I was making this soup yesterday, I realized that it follows Hannah's method for making any homemade soup (http://todayathannahshouse.blogspot.com/2011/10/how-to-make-homemade-soup-from-scratch.html).  Have a great time with this meal!

~Christine from The Good, The Pure, And The Lovely

You will need:

1 bag dried black beans
1 ham bone (a little meat hanging on is nice)
2-3 tbs. cooking oil
4-8 peeled carrots (depending on your love of carrots), roughly chopped
4 cleaned celery ribs, roughly chopped
1/2 to 1 whole onion, chopped
Water to cover
3 or 4 Chicken bouillon or the equivalent Chicken soup/stock base
2-3 bay leaves
1 to 2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 to 1 teaspoons garlic powder
salt to taste
1/2 - 1 tsp pepper
1 to 2 cups diced ham (optional)

Start the night before by cleaning and soaking the black beans overnight.  (I just soaked them in my slow cooker, since I planned on cooking the soup in it.)  The next morning, rinse the black beans and cover with clean water.  Place the ham bone in the center of the beans.  Saute the carrots, celery and onion, and then add it to the pot.  Cover it all with water mixed with a few chicken bouillon or chicken soup/stock base.  Throw in the bay leaves, cumin, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  (I didn't use much salt, because my soup base has a lot of sodium in it).  Turn on the slow cooker (or the pot on the stove) on low and cook for 8 to 10 hours or until the beans are soft. 

When the beans are soft, remove the ham bone and some of the beans beans.  Remove the ham from the bone and return it to the mixture.  Puree the leftover mixture in a blender, or if you are a really lucky girl, use an immersion blender.  Taste your soup.  Add more cumin, garlic, salt and pepper to suit your tastes.  (Add a little at a time - you can always add more, but you can't remove it.  Take it from me - I've had more than one dish turn out "too salty" from getting in a hurry with my salt!)  Add your black beans back in, and some extra diced ham, if desired.  Keep the soup warm until dinner in the slow cooker or on the stove.  Even my kids love this soup.  I serve it with homemade cornbread, biscuits, or french bread.  Enjoy!    

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