Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Black Bean Soup

This is a family favorite. Pancetta is not traditional, but it adds such a wonderful flavor. Diced bacon is a suitable substitute. Be sure to add the baking soda in the first step as it helps the beans retain their color. No one wants to eat gray soup :)

Black Bean Soup

1 lb dried black beans
8 to 10 ounce ham steak
8 cups water
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
4 ounces diced pancetta
2 carrots diced
2 stalks celery diced
1 onion diced
2 clove garlic minced
1 tsp chipotle pepper
4 cups broth (vegetable or chicken)
1/2 lime

Garnishes:

diced red onion
diced avocado
lime wedges
sour cream
chopped cilantro
Queso fresca or Queso blanco
Tabasco

Rinse and pick over dried beans. Place in a large Dutch oven with the whole ham steak and cover with water. Add baking soda, salt, pepper and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1/2 hour. Remove ham steak from the pot. Remove the rind and bone, dice into bite sized pieces, and refrigerate. Cover pot with a lid and let beans sit off heat for two hours. Pour beans and liquid into a large container, reserving all. Wipe out Dutch oven and return to stove. Add diced pancetta and saute over medium heat until fat renders and pancetta is browned, about 10 minutes. With a slotted spoon remove the pancetta and set aside, leaving rendered fat in the pot. Add diced carrots, celery, onion, and minced garlic to the pancetta fat, add a little salt to help draw out any moisture, and saute until softened and just beginning to take on color, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle sauteed veggies with chipotle pepper and saute until fragrant. Return beans and reserved liquid to the pot with the vegetables. Add broth and bring soup to a simmer. Cover and simmer until the beans are soft, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Test several beans to check for doneness. Return reserved ham and pancetta to the soup and heat through. Squeeze 1/2 lime into soup. Serve with desired garnishes.
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2 comments:

momto5minnies said...

This sounds yummy. I need to make more soups. They usually go over quite well in my house.

Natalie said...

Oh that sounds good! I'm always trying to get my hub to eat beans, but he says they never have enough flavor. Perhaps this recipe will change his mind. =)