I love coming home after a day out and about to the welcoming smells a slow cooker conjures up. Who doesn't. But tell me, do you ever let your slow cooker work its magic while you're nestled snugly in your warm bed? It's a whole 'nother level of happiness. The scent sort of envelopes the quiet house in a comforting blanket, and invokes good dreams.
What's that you say? You don't feel like waking up to a hearty bowl of stew? That's okay, cool it down and refrigerate it for later. Everybody knows soup only gets better with time. Or better yet, ladle some into thermoses to warm your loved ones back up during lunch at work or school.
Just waking up to the smell of love (yes, homemade soup smells like love, people) is enough to put you in a good mood for the entire day. Today I offer you love in the form of black beans infused with the flavor of ham and sherry. Go forth and prosper!
Crockpot Black Bean Soup
A meaty ham bone flavors this simple, rustic black bean soup that is made in the slow cooker.
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 10 hours (mostly unattended)
Keywords: slow-cooker soup/stew nut-free soy-free sugar-free beans ham American
Ingredients (a scant 2 quarts)
- 1 pound dried black beans
- 1 meaty ham bone
- 2 small onions, small dice
- 4-6 cloves of garlic, peeled & smashed
- 2 stalks celery, small dice
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 cup dry sherry (or cream sherry)
- kosher or sea salt, to taste
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 4-6 hard boiled eggs, chopped
- 6 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
- 1 lemon, sliced
Soak beans overnight; drain and rinse. Put in large pot covered with water by 2 inches. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer 1-2 hours or until just tender. Drain. Put drained black beans in a stockpot; cover with water, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until just tender.
Combine beans, ham bone, onions, garlic, celery, bay leaf, and 6 cups of water in the slow cooker.
Cook on high, covered for 1 hour, then turn to LOW and cook for 7 to 9 hours longer. Remove ham bone and bay leaf. Puree soup and return to pot, or mash to thicken. Add sherry, then taste and season with salt and pepper to your liking; heat through.
Serve in soup bowls garnished with chopped hard-boiled eggs, parsley, and lemon slices.
If you don't want to cook the black beans, you could substitute 4 (15 ounce) cans of drained black beans.
You could also make this on the stove-top in a large, heavy soup pot or Dutch oven. Simmer gently while partially covered for a couple of hours.
-adapted from about.com
I am sharing this with Souper Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen.