Black Bean Soup
- 2 cups dried black beans
- 1/2 - 3/4 pounds sliced smoked bacon, chopped
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped (optional)
- 2 stalks celery, chopped (optional)
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano, crumbled
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 3/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2-3 bay leaves
- 3 qt broth or water
- Cover beans with cold water by 3 inches in a bowl and soak at
room temperature at least 8 hours, but better overnight. Drain in a
colander and rinse.
- Heat a heavy stockpot over medium-high heat. Cook bacon, stirring
occasionally, until golden-brown, about 5 minutes.
- Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon drippings (more or
- In the same pot, sautÃ© the onion, bell pepper,
carrots and celery in the bacon drippings, stirring occasionally (but
thoroughly at first to mix), until vegetables start to soften, about 8
- Add garlic, oregano, cumin, pepper and bay
leaves and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes, until you can smell the
before it starts to brown.
- Add drained beans, broth or water, and most of
the cooked bacon to the vegetables.
- Bring beans to a simmer and let cook for 2+
hours, or until tender (depending on how long you soaked the beans,
they can be
tender at 1 ½hours or less, even—the pot will come to a simmer
faster if you preheat your broth or water in a microwave). .
- Check for salt (if you use water you will
definitely need to add it, and maybe with broth as well).
- Remove bay leaves (if you can find them) and
serve topped with the rest of the bacon, cheese, and sour cream.