Cajun Black Bean Soup
black beans, dried
green bell peppers
In large kettle, combine beans, ham hock and water.
Heat to boiling, reduce heat and simmer covered for 2 to 2½ hours.
Stir frequently and add more water if necessary to cover beans.
To test for doneness, remove a few beans from kettle with a slotted spoon and blow on them.
Skins will pop open when beans are cooked. Remove ham hock.
Chop meat from bones, discarding fat and bones.
Add meat to soup. Stir in minced onion, paprika, cayenne pepper, green pepper, chili powder, salt and cumin.
Cover and simmer for 1 hour. Remove ¾ of soup and purée in blender or processor.
Stir purée back into remaining beans.
If necessary, add water or chicken broth to obtain desired thickness.
Serve with shredded Monterey Jack cheese, sour cream, minced chives or chopped eggs.