Cooking with dried beans takes more time, but it produces a lovely texture in your beans rather than the mush that can result from canned beans – not to mention it’s cheaper! This is an easy soup made from black beans and a smoked ham hock. The spices bring out the richness in the beans and by blending some of the soup the texture is thick and pulpy. Like many stewy dishes this is even better the next day.
The black bean and ham soup recipe is very adaptable to different methods and substitutions. You could easily make this soup in a crockpot and since there are no tomatoes or other acidic components the beans will cook properly with little intervention. Instead of using a ham hock, you can also try this with leftover ham, and if you are in a rush canned beans.
Black Bean and Ham Soup Recipe(serves 4)
Soak the beans over night in 3 cups water, or if you are like me, bring the beans and water to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, turn off the heat and let sit for an hour.
Discard bean soaking liquid and set beans aside. In your soup pot heat olive oil to medium low. Sweat onions, celery and carrot for 5 minutes or until onions translucent. Add spices, as well as a big pinch of salt and grinding of pepper, add beans, ham hock and 5 cups of water. Bring to a simmer, uncovered and simmer for 90 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove ham hock and allow to cool enough to handle. Using an immersion blender blend until the texture is thick. Discard the fat and bones from the ham, chop up and add back to soup. Stir in green onion, reserving some for garnish. Taste and correct for seasoning. The salt levels will vary depending on your ham.
Serve topped with yogourt and green onion.