As promised here is the black bean soup recipe:
1 lb dry black beans, sorted and rinsed
1smoked ham hock
2 onions, coarsely chopped
1 large carrot coarsely chopped
1 large celery stalk coarsely chopped
3 qts chicken stock
1/4 cup tomato paste
1.5 T cumin, ground
1 T Madras curry powder
1 tsp dried thyme, ground or crushed in your palms
4-5 bay leaves whole or 1/2 tsp ground
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp white pepper, freshly ground
1/2 cup brewed strong coffee
2 T dark rum
Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
Freshly cooked rice, white or brown
3 green onions, minced
1 red bell pepper, roasted and diced
1/2 bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped
1 lime, sliced into thin wedges & deseeded
In a 6 qt pan combine beans, ham hock, onions, carrots and celery. Cover with water by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered 1 hour. Remove from heat and cool enough to refrigerate. Skim the fat, remove the hock & coarsely chop the ham meat. Add the stock, tomato paste and all spices. Bring to a boil, reduce heat & simmer for about 2 hours. Remove from heat and add coffee and rum. Serve with rice and accompaniments. Enjoy!
My notes tell me this is a Bon Appetit recipe from June 1985
This soup is very flexible, I don’t always have rum when I make it. (“Tell me, why is the rum always gone?” Captain Sparrow)
My favorite way to make it is when we cook and glaze a fresh bone-in ham that I usually buy around Easter when they go on fabulous sale. I use the ham drippings instead of stock. We use a Dr Pepper glaze on the ham which is amazing, and put a little smoke on it & grill over charcoal.
Please let me know how it turns out for you if anyone tries it. Don’t be daunted with the long ingredient list, it goes together fast.
ETA: I actually use any drippings for this, defatted. Liquid from pork butts for carnitas, ribs on the grill & etc. It would easily adapt to vegetarian as well.