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.
Ingredients:
  • 1 pound dried black beans
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 pound bacon, cut in 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 pound diced ham
  • 4 onions, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 stalks celery including leaves, chopped
  • 1-1/2 cups uncooked brown rice
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 3 quarts chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry
Preparation:
  1. Wash black beans, cover with water and allow to soak overnight; rinse; drain; set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer 2-1/2 to 3 hours.
  4. Let soup cool; put through the blender a little at a time, until smooth.
  5. Return to soup pot; reheat on low about 45 minutes, adding wine and sherry.
  6. Serve hot.
  7. 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.

Prep time: Overnight; Cooking time: 3 Hrs 45 Min-4 Hrs 15 Min; Total time: 12 Hrs

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