Black Bean Soup with Smoked Ham

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Black Bean Soup with Smoked Ham
Serves 6
One of my very favorite soups, this Black Bean soup recipe is full of flavors and surprises like ham & bits of vegetables. It freezes well so there's no reason why not to make a BIG batch!
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Ingredients
  1. 1⁄2 cup Nino's Maple Bacon, cut in 1/4" pieces
  2. 1 cup Sweet Onion, diced 1/4"
  3. 1⁄2 cup Celery, diced 1/4"
  4. 1⁄2 cup Carrot, diced 1/4"
  5. 1 Tbsp. Garlic, Fresh, chopped
  6. 1 Tbsp. Jalapeno Pepper, minced
  7. 1 Quart Chicken Stock, nice and strong flavored
  8. 3 cups Black Beans, Canned, drained and rinsed
  9. 1 Ham Bone, optional
  10. 1 tsp. Cumin Powder
  11. 2 tsp. Chili Powder
  12. 1⁄4 tsp. Oregano, Dry Crushed
  13. 1⁄2 tsp. Liquid Hickory Smoke
  14. 2 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
  15. Salt & Pepper, to taste
  16. 2 cups Honey Ham, cut in 1/4" to 1/2" pieces
  17. 1⁄2 cup Green Onion cut in small slivers
  18. 1 cup Sour Cream, for garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a large soup pot, cook bacon until crisp, saving the grease.
  2. Add sweet onions, celery, carrots, garlic and jalapeno pepper and sweat for 3 to 5 minutes on medium heat.
  3. Add stock, canned beans (with juices), ham bone, spices, liquid smoke & brown sugar and cover. Turn heat to low and simmer one hour.
  4. Remove ham bone and puree entire soup well.
  5. Adjust seasonings with salt & pepper and garnish with ham, green onions and sour cream when serving.
Nino Salvaggio http://www.ninosalvaggio.com/