Black Valentine Bean Soup

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Ingredients for Bean Preparation:

5 cups of water (may need a little extra)

1 pound (2 ½ cups) of dried black beans

1 ham hock

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon salt

 

Ingredients for Soup:

3 tablespoons of oil

2 large onions chopped

1 large carrot chopped

3 celery ribs chopped

½ teaspoon salt

5-6 garlic cloves minced

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 ½ tablespoon ground cumin

6 cups of chicken broth

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons water

 

Instructions:

  1. First you will want to prepare your dried beans.  There are different methods on dried bean preparation.  I put my beans in a pot, covered with water and let soak for about 6 hours.
  2. Then I added the other ingredients listed above in the bean preparation section and brought it to a boil over medium-high heat.
  3. After reaching a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer about 1 ½ hours (until beans are tender).
  4. Take out the bay leaves.
  5. To make the soup, put oil in a pot, heating to medium-heat and add onions, carrot, celery and salt. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables are soft – around 10-15 minutes.
  6. Reduce heat to medium-low and add garlic, pepper flakes and cumin, stirring constantly about 2-5 minutes.
  7. Stir in beans with liquid, and chicken broth, increasing heat back up to medium-high and bring to a boil. After reaching a boil, reduce to low and simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes.
  8. If you want to thicken the soup, take 1 ½ cup of beans and 2 cups of the liquid and put in a blender. Return to soup.  Combine the cornstarch and water and add to the soup.
  9. Time to eat!  Serve with a dollop of sour cream!