Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Soup to Chase the Chill!

Spicy Black Bean Soup (another hambone recipe!)

Holy cow is it ever cold outside!  Single digit windchill temps out there this morning...brrrrr.  But I didn't have to check the weather report to know the winter chill has set in.  Just look back over  Dinner Plan-it blog posts the last month...yep, soups, stews and tummy warming one-pot dinners galore.  When the weather turns cold, we turn to foods that will warm us up from the inside out.  

Do you remember Mieke used her leftover hambone for Ham and Green Beans last week?  (If you missed it, check below for that recipe.) Once we got back from Michigan, I put a pot of black bean soup on the back burner to cook at our house and put our own leftover hambone to good use. 

This is an easy soup to make if you're new to from-scratch soup making.  Deep, hefty ham flavor packed with tender beans, sweet carrots and onions, garlic and smoky cumin....there's a nice punch of heat in there, too, from the RoTel tomatoes and chipotle chile powder!

I did notice another cold weather commonality in our posts recently...there sure are a few cocktails in there to warm up with, too!  Here's the recipe for the soup....cocktails are optional.

Spicy Black Bean Soup

  • 3 cups dried black beans, picked over (I really like the fact that you don't have to soak these beans overnight before making soup!)
  • 1 ham bone, with lots of meat on it
  • 2 jumbo onions, chopped fine
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 1 can RoTel tomatoes & chiles
  • 8 cups water
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder (McCormicks has it or try Penzey's if you have one near you or substitute regular chile powder)
  • Jane's Crazy Salt to taste
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar

In a soup pot, bring dry beans, hambone, onion, garlic, cumin, water, and broth to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, partially cover pot with a lid and simmer the soup until beans are tender, about 2-3 hours.  Check the beans for tenderness occasionally.  Transfer hambone to plate and cool.  Cut away ham, discarding bone and fat.
Transfer 1 1/2 cups beans and 1 1/2 cups of cooking liquid to a blender or food processor and let cool slightly.  Puree the mixture and return to pot.  Stir in ham, vinegar, sugar, and Crazy Salt salt and pepper to taste and simmer.  Taste and adjust seasonings.
Serve soup with a dollop of sour cream....we use Fage 0% fat Greek yogurt instead of sour cream now.  Even my husband loves it!

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