Black Bean Soup
Black bean soup is a great side or main course to a Texas-style or Mexican-style meal. The best black bean soup is made with dried black beans, rather than canned. Be sure to pick through the dried beans carefully to remove any tiny rocks that sometimes get mixed in.
Pour oil into a large soup pot. Add the bacon, ham, onion, garlic and celery. Cook at high simmer until vegetables are soft, about 30 minutes. Add beans, rice, seasonings, and broth to soup pot. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer 2-1/2 to 3 hours.
Let soup cool; put through the blender a little at a time, until smooth. Return to soup pot; reheat on low about 45 minutes, adding wine and sherry. Serve hot. Makes 8 generous servings.
Note: A dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of fresh minced cilantro is a nice garnish for this soup. Serve this with Jalapeño Cornbread to make a real Texas-style meal.
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