Black Bean Soup

Black Bean Soup

My husband has told me that this is, if not his favorite thing I make – is in the top three at least.  It’s easy to make, easy to increase or decrease the quantity and vary between a veg and a non-veg version.  If you’re going to go non-veg, a ham hock is essential.  But trust me – you don’t need it to have a delicious and nutritious soup!

Directions

Serves Six
Time:  50 Minutes Preparation

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
6 stalks celery, finely diced
3 medium-sized carrots, peeled and diced
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 chipotles in adobo sauce – finely minced along with whatever adobo sauce is on them*
1 ham hock (non-veg version only)
4 cans black beans – with their liquid
3 cups chicken stock (non-veg version), vegetable stock (veg version)
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
½ cup chopped cilantro or 3 tbs Recaito (culantro cooking base)
Salt and pepper to taste
Sour cream for garnish

*If you can’t find chipotles in adobo sauce – usually in the Mexican aisle in your grocery store, you can add red pepper flakes for heat – about 1 teaspoon.  Or if you don’t like it spicy at all – simply omit completely.

Method:

In a large, heavy bottomed pot, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat.  When hot, add onions, celery, carrots and garlic.  Cook until vegetables are softened – about 5 minutes.  Next add the chipotles in adobo sauce – combine.

If making the non-veg version, add your ham hock now.  Nestle it down amid the vegetables.  Add the beans (with the juices) and stock.  Stir.  Bring to a boil.  Add the red wine vinegar and salt and pepper.  Taste for seasoning.

Lower the heat, cover and cook over medium-low heat for 30 minutes.  Add the chopped cilantro (or Recaito culantro cooking base) and stir.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream, a crisp white wine and some crusty bread.

Enjoy!

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A great day for me is preparing great meals for friends and family. I enjoy experimenting with new ingredients and also updating classics that I've enjoyed for years. I love to travel and try lots of new cuisines - and wouldn't be anything without the love of my family!

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