Cookbook Soups

Black Bean Soup

The first time we made this soup was for a small gathering of friends at our house. We doubled the recipe, for some reason, and found out that all our soup pans combined were not enough for the soup. So, we had to go to the church and borrow two large soup pots. Everyone left our house with a small container of soup, so that we would not be eating it for days.

2 lbs. dried black (turtle) beans
1 1/4 C. olive oil
3 C. yellow onions, diced
12 cloves garlic, crushed
1 very meaty ham bone or 2 smoked ham hocks
8 qts. water
3 1/2 T. ground cumin
2 T. dried oregano
3 bay leaves
1 T. coarse salt
1 T. black pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper
8 T. fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1 3/4 to 2 lbs. fresh garlic sausage
6 sweet Italian sausage links, cut into 1″ pieces
6 hot Italian sausage links, cut into 1″ pieces
1 lb. bratwurst, cut into 1″pieces
3 medium-size sweet red peppers, cored, seeded and diced
1/4 C. dry sherry
3 T. dark brown sugar
2 T. lemon juice
Sour cream

  1. Soak the beans in water to cover overnight.
  2. Heat 1 cup of the oil in a large stockpot over low heat. Add the onions, garlic and sauté until the onions are limp, about 10 minutes.
  3. Drain and rinse the beans and add to the stockpot.
  4. Add the ham bone and 6 quarts of water.
  5. Stir in the cumin, oregano, bay leaves, salt, pepper, cayenne, and 3 tablespoons of the parsley. Heat to boiling.
  6. Reduce heat to medium and cook, uncovered, at a slow rolling boil for 2 hours, skimming foam from the top and stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
  7. Place the garlic sausage in a medium-sized saucepan and add the remaining 2 quarts water. Heat to boiling.
  8. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 40 minutes. Drain. Remove casings and cut into 1/2″ slices.
  9. Heat the remaining 1/4 cup oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the Italian sausages and sauté until browned.
  10. Remove the sausages with a slotted spoon. In the same skillet, sauté the bratwurst until browned. Remove with a slotted spoon.
  11. After 2 hours of cooking, process 2 cups of the beans in a food processor until smooth and return to the pot. Continue to cook for 30 minutes.
  12. Add all the sausages and the red peppers and cook for another 30 minutes.
  13. Remove the ham bone from the soup, shred the meat and return to the pot.
  14. Stir in the sherry, sugar and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat until the beans are very soft and the soup is thick, 30 to 45 minutes.
  15. Stir in the remaining 5 tablespoons of chopped parsley.

Taste and adjust seasonings. Ladle the soup into soup bowls and dollop each with sour cream.

Makes 16 portions.

Cookbook Soups

Potato Chowder with Green Chiles

1 large red bell pepper
4 large Poblano chile peppers
5 C. chicken broth
1 large potato, peeled and cubed
1 large onion, chopped
1 Jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1 tsp. salt
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/4 C. butter or margarine
1/3 C. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
2 C. half and half
1 C. milk
1 C. (4 oz.) Cheddar cheese, shredded
6 bacon slices, cooked, drained and crumbled
1 bunch green onions, chopped

  1. Broil bell peppers and chile peppers on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet, 5″ from the heat, about 5 minutes on each side, or until peppers are blistered.
  2. Place peppers in heavy-duty Ziploc plastic bag; seal and let stand 10 minutes.
  3. Peel peppers; remove and discard seeds. Coarsely chop peppers.
  4. Bring peppers and chicken broth and next 5 ingredients to a boil in Dutch oven over medium heat.
  5. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
  6. Melt butter in heavy saucepan over low heat.
  7. Whisk in flour, salt and dry mustard. Cool, whisking constantly, about 1 minute.
  8. Gradually whisk in half and half to make a white sauce.
  9. Stir white sauce and milk into chicken broth mixture; cook over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes, or until thick and bubbly.
  10. Sprinkle each serving with cheese, bacon and chopped green onions.

Yield: Approximately 9 cups.