[dropcap1 color=”rosy”]I[/dropcap1]t is extremely cold outside. The kind of cold that gets in your bones and takes hours to warm up from. The kind that makes your hands practically unusable after being outside for just a short amount of time. It’s cold. And it hurts.
In my mind there is no better way to warm up then a big fire, a lot of layers, and a great bowl of soup. I could live on it in the winter. There is something about holding and eating a nice warm bowl of soup that comforts you from the inside out.
Before the chilly season is over, I plan on posting my top 5 favorite soup recipes – so, stay tuned! These are tried and true recipes that have been perfected over time by my mom and me. My first one to post is our black bean soup. It’s hearty, healthy, extremely flavorful, and easy to make. What more could you ask for? Oh that’s right. 70 degree weather.
This recipe makes a lot, so you can plan it for a dinner or two and if you don’t get sick of it, a few lunches as well. Or, be a good friend and split the pot. We all know someone that could use some homemade soup, right?
- One ham bone, or you can use 6 smoked ham hocks
- 2 lbs of dried black beans
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 4 celery stalks, chopped
- 3 chicken bouillon cubes
- 1 and 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 3/4 tsp crushed red pepper
- 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 3/4 cup good red wine
- 5 (or more, use your preference) drops of tabasco
- 11 cups of water
- Soak beans overnight, or for 3 hours or so. Place all ingredients in a large soup pot and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to simmer. Let it cook all day. You're home will smell amazing.
- Remove the ham bone or hocks at the end and return any meat to the soup if you'd like. Ham bones really are best for this soup as they give the most meat, but they are hard to find. I normally use ham hocks simply for the flavor and then just remove them completely.
- As far as toppings go, the opportunities are endless. This soup has so much flavor that I prefer not to 'hide' that by going overboard with toppings and just chop up some fresh cilantro. Although loading it up with rice, cheese, tortilla strips, and a dollop of sour cream doesn't hurt either. All up to you.
Ok, time for a bowl by the fire.