Black Bean Soup

Ingredients:

1 lb dry black beans
1 green pepper
1 onion
4 roma tomatoes
2 big fat jalapeño peppers
a bunch of fresh garlic, like 8 cloves
1 tbsp cooking oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
3/4 lb bacon or salt pork
1/2 cup fresh cilantro

Tools:

Slow Cooker
Sautee Pan
Big Spoon
Big Knife
Cutting Board

The Process:

Soak the beans: Rinse the beans and cover them with a lot of water (they’ll expand so make sure the water level starts out a good inch or more over the top of the beans).  Use the slow cooker (not turned on of course) if you don’t want to ‘dirty’ another pot. Let them sit ‘overnight’, or 12-15 hours.  Drain and rinse them till all the water runs clear.

Put beans and six cups of water in the slow cooker and turn on high. Using the big knife on the cutting board, chop bacon or pork into 1/2″ pieces and add to beans.  Let the slow cooker go on high for 2 hours or low for 3-4 hours until beans are starting to soften.

Using the big knife on the cutting board (both cleaned after the earlier bacon chopping), mince the garlic; chop onion, green pepper, and tomatoes into chunks (not too fine – maybe 1/2″); quarter the jalapeños lengthwise and then cut them into small pieces .  Sautee the garlic with the oil for a minute over medium heat using the big spoon to stir.  Add onions and peppers and sautee for 3-4 minutes until the onions are clearish.  Add this mixture to the slow cooker with the tomatoes and jalapeños.  Add salt, pepper, chili powder, and cumin.

Let the slow cooker go for another 2 hours on low temperature until the beans are tender but not coming apart.  Remember, if you turn off the heat and continue to let it sit, it will continue to cook.

Taste the bean soup and add more salt to taste if needed.  Add more chili powder and/or cumin if you want it spicier.  Chop up the cilantro and stir it in at the end.

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