Southwestern antifreeze: lively, hearty Black Bean Soup with Ham Hocks by Blue-Kitchen.com; I pick up this really nice recipe than i cannot wait to cook. Lots of big flavors—cumin, garlic, celery, red bell pepper, tomatoes, jalapeño pepper and smoked ham hock—blend into a satisfying soup with a Southwestern kick. Recipe below.
Southwestern antifreeze: lively, hearty Black Bean Soup with Ham Hocks by Blue-Kitchen.com
IngredientsServes 4 or 5 as main course - 1 pound dried black beans, soaked (see Kitchen Notes for fast and slow soaking methods) - 1 smoked ham hock, 3/4 to 1 pound - 8 cups water - 2 bay leaves canola oil 1 medium yellow onion, chopped - 1 red bell pepper, chopped 1 large jalapeño pepper, finely chopped (see Kitchen Notes) - 2 carrots, peeled and diced - 2 ribs celery, peeled and diced - 2 large cloves garlic, minced - 1 tablespoon ground cumin - 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained freshly ground black pepper - 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (see Kitchen Notes) - salt as you like - sour cream (optional) - chopped cilantro for garnish
Step by Step
- Place soaked beans and ham hock in large, heavy stock pot or Dutch oven. Add water and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 1-1/2 hours.
- Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large sauté pan or skillet. Add onion, bell pepper, jalapeño pepper, carrots and celery. Toss to coat with oil and sweat vegetables for 4 or 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Clear a space in center of pan, drizzling in extra oil if needed, and add garlic and cumin. Cook until fragrant, about 45 seconds, stirring constantly. Remove pan from heat and toss vegetables to combine. Set aside.
- Using tongs, transfer ham hock to shallow bowl and set aside. Remove and discard bay leaves; add vegetable mixture and tomatoes to pot. Season generously with fresh ground black pepper, but don’t add any salt at this point. Transfer 4 cups of soup to food processor and carefully purée (do this in two batches, if necessary). Return to pot.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 1/2 hour or more. Meanwhile, when ham hock has cooled enough to handle, remove the skin, fat and bones and chop the meat into small pieces. Return to pot. As the soup simmers, you may get a bit of foam on the top. If so, skim it off and discard. This happened late in the cooking process for me.
- Add lime juice and adjust seasoning with salt, if needed—the ham hock will provide plenty of saltiness, so you probably won’t need much. Ladle soup into bowls, giving it a good stir with the ladle to make sure everyone gets plenty of beans, vegetables and meat. Top with a dollop of sour cream, if using, and garnish with cilantro. Serve.
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