Bacon and Black Bean Soup - this wonderful recipe is full of flavor, fiber, and fabulous nutrition. Plus, the smoky goodness of bacon combines beautifully with the hearty flavor of black beans, sautéed onions, and diced green chiles.
Instead of using canned beans, this recipe starts with dried black beans, beans you will soak before cooking, and provides easy-to-follow directions for their preparation.
Sorting, washing, and soaking a few handfuls of this delightful crop can be a fun way to experience the feel and color of the harvest.
In addition, many people express a definite preference for the flavor and texture of prepared dried beans versus canned.
1 pound (2 cups) dried black beans
2 tablespoons salt
2 quarts cold water
6 strips of thin bacon
2 medium yellow onions, finely chopped
1 can (4.5 ounces) diced green chilies, undrained
4 cups chicken stock, homemade preferred (chicken stock recipe)
1 cup taco sauce
1 cup sour cream
yellow corn tortilla chips
1. Sort and rinse - Carefully sort through beans looking for and discarding fragments of stone and broken, discolored, or shriveled beans. Place selected beans in a fine mesh strainer; rinse thoroughly.
2. Salt bath - In a Dutch oven, combine 2 tablespoons salt to 2 quarts of cold water; add beans.
3. Hot-soak beans: boil for 2 minutes, remove pot from heat, and allow beans to soak in this salt bath for 4 hours; drain and rinse.
4. Cook bacon in a 6-quart Dutch oven over medium heat until crispy on both sides. Remove bacon and place on a paper towel to drain.
5. Add and sauté - onions and chilies to the bacon drippings; sauté over medium heat until onions begin to brown, about 4 minutes.
6. Add the soaked beans, taco sauce, and chicken stock to the sautéed onions and chiles.
7. Simmer - Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and gently simmer for 1-1/2 hours or until beans are tender.
8. Purée - Remove half of the beans and set to the side. With an immersion blender, purée the remaining beans directly in the pot.
9. Simmer - Stir in the remaining whole beans to the pot and simmer for 5 more minutes.
10. Garnish - Top each serving of your beautiful black bean soup with sour cream, yellow tortilla chips, and crumbled bacon.
Have you every considered vine drying homegrown beans? The harvesting process can be a satisfying activity and a sure way to know your dried beans are truly fresh.
The beans on the vine can either be left to dry in the garden or the vines can be pulled and allowed to dry in more protected area.
When a shake of a few shriveled pods produces a lovely rattle from the sun-dried beans within, the time for shelling has arrived.
Relax with a glass of wine and spend a quiet afternoon hand shelling or threshing, winnowing, and sorting your harvest for storage.
For more information about growing dried beans in your garden, check out the following links:
Let these fill your home with wonderful moments...