Black Bean Soup
Try this healthy and nutritious recipe as a side dish or appetizer.
1 pound of C&F Black Beans, picked over, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter or oil
1 cup of onions, finely chopped
1/2 cup of celery, finely chopped
1/2 cup of carrots, finely chopped
3 cloves of minced garlic
1 teaspoon of minced fresh thyme
2 large smoked ham hocks, about 1 1/2 pounds
9 cups of water of homemade chicken stock
1/2 cup of dry sherry
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
Optional: Sour cream, finely chopped hard boiled egg or 1 minced scallion
Put beans in a large saucepan.
Cover with water by 2 inches.
Bring to a boil and lower the heat to a simmer.
Cook for 5 minutes.
Remove from heat.
Cover and set aside for one hour.
Drain and reserve.
In a large soup pot heat the butter or oil over medium heat.
Add the onions, celery and carrots, saute until wilted and golden, about 10 minutes.
Add the garlic and thyme and saute for 3 minutes more.
Add the beans, hocks, water or stock, and bring to a simmer.
Cover and adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer.
Cook until beans and meat are tender, about 1 and 1/2 hours.
Turn the soup off.
Remove the hocks from the soup, set aside and cool.
Remove the meat from the hocks, discarding the bones, fat and skin.
Cut the meat into small cubes.
Puree the soup, with an immersion blender or in batches in a blender.
Heat the soup to a simmer with the meat.
Season with salt and pepper.
Add the sherry.
To serve, divide this soup among warmed bowls, and top with one or more of the garnishes, if desired.