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1 (16 oz.) package dried black beans
7 cups of water
2 (14 ½ oz.) cans of chicken stock
1 small cottage ham
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 jalapenos, with seeds
1 medium onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon dry mustard
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ cup dry sherry

Sort and wash beans, place in a large soup pot, add water to the pot, cover with a lid. Bring to a boil and cook for two minutes, remove from heat, let stand for one hour. Add next 11 ingredients, bring to a simmer, cook for two to two and a half hours, stirring occasionally. Discard Bay leaf, remove ham and dice. Process about 4 cups of soup in a blender, return blended soup, and ham to the soup pot. Add sherry, bring soup to a simmer for ten minutes. Serve.

Serving suggestion: Ladle soup into individual bowls and sprinkle the top of soup with crumbled feta cheese.

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