HOT CHARLIE’S™ SPICY HAM & BLACK BEAN SOUP
1 1/2 pounds dried black beans, soaked overnight and drained
8 pieces of seasoning meat (ham, cubed into 1 1/2 to 2 inch pieces)
4 cups chicken stock
4 cups water
1/3 cup of fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 green pepper, seeded and finely chopped
Fresh ground black pepper and salt
1 tablespoon of Hot Charlie’s™ Hot Sauce
1/2 wedge of orange
10 whole cloves
2 teaspoons cooking oil
Over high heat put oil in a heavy stockpot and brown seasoning meat for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to a low simmer and add garlic, onion, green pepper until onions turn clear.
Place the beans in the stockpot add the stock and water. Add salt, black pepper, cilantro and Hot Charlie’s™ Hot Sauce. Stick the orange wedge with the cloves and add to the beans. Bring to a boil over moderate heat, then lower the heat to simmer and stir periodically, keeping pot covered. Cook the beans for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until they soften.
Uncover and stir over low heat until the beans appear to thicken.
Remove the orange with the cloves in it and allow to cool. Using a hand blender, mash beans into thick paste. Strain beans using a wooden spoon to push mixture through strainer into a bowl discarding bean hulls. Put beans back in pot and add some stock or water until a soup consistency is achieved. Serve in a bowl garnished with chopped green onion, shredded Monterrey Jack cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips.
Yield: 8 servings
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