This is not a fast recipe by any means, but if you've got the time to let soup boil all day, it's well worth it. I had a leftover ham bone in the freezer, and I've been waiting for a nice, cool day to turn it into soup. In addition, all of us, asthma sufferers and non-asthma sufferers alike, have been dealing with residual coughs from previous colds, so making the house both warm and humid was an added bonus!
I loosely followed this recipe for the ham stock:
- 1 ham bone*
- 1 large onion, chopped (2 cups)
- 2 carrots, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
- 2 celery ribs, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
- 3 large garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme, crumbled
- 3 whole cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
- water to cover
Then for the actual soup (taken from Black Bean Soup from McCall's Cooking School)
- 2 cups (1 lb) dried black beans
- Cold water
- 1 leek
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 6 cups (roughly, okay if it's less) ham stock
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp brown sugar, firmly packed
- Chopped red, yellow and green onions (optional)
- Tortilla chips (optional, omit if you need corn-free!)
- Soak the beans (overnight or quick-soak.)
- Drain the soaked beans; discard soaking water. Return drained beans to a large pot and add fresh cold water to cover. Bring beans and water to boiling over high heat; reduce heat, cover and simmer for 2 hours or until beans are tender. (I did this at the same time my stock was cooking.)
- Drain the cooked beans, reserving liquid. Set beans aside. Add reserved bean liquid and, if necessary, water to the ham stock to make 6 cups liquid. (I actually had closer to 7 or 8 cups total.)
- Trim leek: Cut off root and and green stem. (Leek should be about 5 inches long after trimming.) Wash leek thoroughly to remove dirt and sand. Cut on diagonal into 1/4-inch-thick slices.
- Heat olive oil in large soup pot over high heat. When hot, add leek, onion and garlic. Saute until vegetables are browned, about 5 minutes.
- Add salt, brown sugar, beans, and ham meat to leek mixture. Stir in ham stock. Bring to boiling over high heat; cover and reduce heat. Simmer for 10 minutes. Serve soup topped with chopped onions and tortilla chips.
Alternatively, if you soaked the beans overnight, you could just cook the beans in the same pot while making the stock. You'd be unable to pull out all the stock veggies and whole spices, though, because the beans would be in the way. Hubby isn't fond of cooked veggies, and he definitely would have turned up his nose at carrots and celery that had been boiling for three hours, so I made the stock separately.
The original recipe said to add butter or margarine to the broth at the end to thicken it, but I completely forgot that step and to be honest, the soup didn't need it. This was the perfect, hearty and warm meal for the end of a chilly day. (If only the kids had liked it. Their loss, I'm afraid!)
Linking up at Allergy Free Wednesdays, Gluten Free Fridays, and Corn-free Everyday
*To be honest, I can't say that our soup was entirely allergen free, because we ate most of the ham when I threw the wrapper away months ago. I understand that hams sometimes get treated with wheat, or the glazes can contain any number of allergens. Our ham was safe for us, but you would need to make sure that your ham bone (or shanks or hocks) is safe for your family.