Southwest Black Bean Soup

Course : Beans
Serves: 8
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1 cup onion chopped
4 clove garlic -- finely chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound black beans -- dried
2 cups ham smoked -- cooked, cubed
6 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons red chiles -- ground
2 tablespoons cilantro snipped
1 tablespoon oregano leaves -- dried
2 teaspoons cumin -- ground
28 ounces whole tomatoes -- undrained
1 medium chipotle chile -- *
-----quick creme fraiche-----
1/3 cup whipping cream
2/3 cup dairy sour cream
1 medium red bell pepper -- chopped

Preparation / Directions:

* Chipotle Chile should be one that has been canned in Adobo Sauce. Cook and stir onion and garlic in oil in 4-quart Dutch oven until onion is tender. Stir in remaining ingredients except Quick Creme Fraiche and Bell pepper; heat to boiling. Boil 2 minutes; reduce heat. Cover and simmer until beans are tender, about 2 1/2 hours. Pour 1/4 of the soup into food processor workbowl fitted with steel blade or into blender container, cover and process until smooth. Repeat with remaining soup. Serve with Quick Creme Fraiche and Bell Pepper. QUICK CREME FRAICHE: Gradually stir whipping cream into sour cream. Cover and refrigerate up to 48 hours.

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