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Carlos' Black Bean Soup

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<p><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/stuart_spivack/4567245466/">Image Credit</a></p>
Ingredients
  Black beans 2 Pound
  Olive oil 1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs)
  Onions 3 Cup (48 tbs), diced
  Garlic 8 Clove (40 gm), lightly bruised and peeled
  Meaty ham bone/Ham hock 1 , smoked
  Water 6 Quart
  Cumin 7 Teaspoon, ground
  Dried oregano 1 Tablespoon
  Bay leaves 3
  Black pepper 2 Teaspoon, freshly ground
  Cayenne 1 Pinch
  Flat leaf parsley 6 Tablespoon, chopped
  Fresh cilantro leaves 6 Tablespoon, chopped
  Salt 1 Teaspoon
  Red bell peppers 1 Medium, stemmed, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice; reserve 1/4 cup for garnish
  Dry sherry 1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs)
  Brown sugar 1 Tablespoon (Packed)
  Fresh lime juice 1 Tablespoon
  Creme fraiche/Sour cream 1 Cup (16 tbs)
Directions

GETTING READY
1. Rinse beans in water and in a large bowl soak beans in cold water.
2. Drain, rinse, and keep aside.

MAKING
3. In a large soup pot, heat oil over low heat.
4. Add onions and garlic.
5. Cook over low heat for about 10 minutes until onions wilt.
6. Add ham bone, beans and water to the pot.
7. Add 2 tablespoons of the cumin, oregano, bay leaves, black pepper, cayenne, and 2 tablespoons each parsley and cilantro.
8. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat.
9. Simmer uncovered for about 1 ½ to 2 hours until the beans are very tender and the liquid is reduced to one quarter.
10. Spoon ham bone to a plate and keep aside for cooling slightly.
11. Remove meat from on the bone, shred finely and return it to the pot.
12. Add the remaining parsley, cilantro, salt, bell pepper cumin, sherry, brown sugar, and lime juice.
13. Simmer with frequent stirring for another 30 minutes.
14. Adjust seasonings to taste.

SERVING
15. Serve piping hot in serving bowl.
16. Garnish each bowl with a dollop of creme fraiche.
17. Sprinkle remaining diced red pepper and chopped cilantro.

Recipe Summary

Difficulty Level: 
Easy
Cuisine: 
Cuban
Course: 
Appetizer
Method: 
Boiled
Dish: 
Soup
Interest: 
Healthy
Preparation Time: 
5 Minutes
Cook Time: 
180 Minutes
Ready In: 
185 Minutes
Servings: 
8

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