I made this black bean soup a couple years ago. However, I left out the smoked ham hock, cilantro, and did not use an immersion blender to blend. This time I did and it made a huge difference so I decided to repost the recipe.
Just like the first time I made this I really like the fact that this recipe cooks for 11 hours – perfect for the parent that is gone all day and then some. This recipe takes on a deeper flavor with the addition of the smoked ham hock. I must admit I don’t think I ever purchase a ham hock in my life. In fact, I did not even know where to look for one. Um excuse me sir can you tell me where the ham hocks are. I was pointed to meat section where the pork hangs out. Duh of course. Now I just want to note here that there was only one left. That’s right I got last ham hock in the store. Now I could only guess one of two things…one this is not a popular product or two it is so popular it flies off the shelf. I don’t know but if you can’t find it just ask someone.
The cilantro is a must with this recipe as it lends a nice bright flavor when you stirred in at the end. I actually have learned to love cilantro and add it to almost any dish that calls for chili powder and onions. So good!
Last time I made this I mashed the beans up with a potato masher. This time I blended it up with my immersion blender. I much prefer it this way. I loved it smooth and creamy with just a little bit of texture from beans. But if you prefer more beans then only blend till you get the texture you want.
The only thing I don’t like about this recipe is it calls for 2-3 celery stalks and 1-2 carrots. Well that’s great and all but what about the rest of package. My solution to this was to also put my mom’s chicken soup on the menu to use up the rest of celery and carrots.
This soup goes great with a nice arugula salad and crusty bread. Yum! And of course it freezes perfectly. Which is great because you get a lot of soup from this recipe.
- 3 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 pound dried black beans, rinsed and picked over for stones
- 3 celery stalks, sliced into small pieces
- 2 large carrots, sliced into small pieces
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 smoked ham hock, rinsed
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro and more to serve
- hot sauce (optional)
- garnish with sour cream and cheddar cheese
- In a medium microwave safe bowl combine onions, garlic, olive oil, and chili powder and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Transfer to slow cooker.
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the slow cooker except cilantro and garnishes.
- Cook on low for 9 - 11 hours or until beans are tender. **Mine cooked for 10 hours.
- Remove ham hock, shred, and set aside.
- Using a immersion or hand blender carefully blend the soup until it is a consistency you want. If you don't have a hand blender you can transfer soup to a regular blender in batches.
- Stir in shredded ham hock and cilantro
- Serve in bowls with hot sauce, extra cilantro, sour cream, and cheese
This can be made completely ahead of time and frozen into portions. Thaw in refrigerator and reheat in microwave or on stove.
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