Black Bean Soup with Ham
To make a white bean soup, substitute canned cannellini or Great Northern beans for the black beans, and omit the sherry and sour cream.
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, finely chopped
- 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cans (each 14 1/2 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 cup dry sherry
- 1 cup diced baked ham
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup sour cream
Prepare the soup
In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion, carrot and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Add the black beans, chicken broth and sherry. Cover, increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered and stirring often, until the flavors have blended, about 15 minutes.
Finish the soup
In a blender or food processor, puree 2 cups of the soup, then return the mixture to the pan. Add the ham and simmer over medium heat until the ham is heated through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Ladle the soup into warmed bowls, garnish with the sour cream and serve immediately. Serves 8.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Make Ahead, by Rick Rodgers (Oxmoor House, 2008).