Sunday Black Bean Soup

Course : Beans
Serves: 6
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1 pound dried black beans
2 medium smoked ham hocks
3 cups chicken stock
4 medium coarsely chopped carrots
3 medium coarsely chopped onions
3 medium coarsely chopped celery
1 tablespoon chopped jalapeno pepper
3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1 cup dry sherry
1 medium lime -- (juice)

Preparation / Directions:

To soak beans quickly, cover them with generous amount of water, cover pot, bring water to boil and boil 2 minutes. Remove cover and allow beans to sit in the liquid for one hour. Drain. In hot oil (1-2 Tb.), sauté carrots, onions, celery, and garlic until onions are golden. Add cumin and jalapenos. When beans are ready to cook, add ham hocks to beans along with sautéed vegetables, and chicken broth and enough water to cover. Cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until tender. Drain the bean mixture and reserve cooking liquid. Puree beans and vegetables. Add sherry and lime juice and enough of the reserved liquid to make a thick soup. Can be served with chopped coriander or sour cream or lemon slice.

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