- 1 pound dried black beans, pick over them and check for any badly broken beans, chunks of dirt or pebbles
- 1 large onion, chopped medium
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped fine or put through a garlic press
- 2 chipotle peppers in adobo (these come in a can, pick out what you need and freeze the rest), chopped
- 1-2 tablespoons chili powder, maybe more
- 1 cup of choppd tomatoes or tomato sauce (optional)
Rinse the black beans - they may be dusty - rinse them until the water isn't dusty and runs clear (could be 1 rinse or 5, depending on your beans). Set aside.
In a large dutch oven or soup pot, saute the onion and garlic in a little oil until soft. When softened, add the chipotle chiles and chili powder. Saute a few more minutes. Add the black beans to the pot. Add salt (about 1 tablespoon). Cover the beans with water and bring to a boil.
Turn the heat down and simmer the soup for 1-2 hours - the beans will be soft. When needed, add more water, the beans should stay covered with water. If you like a little tomato in your soup, add them about 45 minutes into cooking (I like tomato in my soup. I don't think it makes the soup tomatoey, but it adds a layer of flavor that really enhances the black beans.)
When the beans are cooked through, use a potato masher or immersion blender to puree some of the soup - this will make the soup creamier. If you want a very smooth soup, puree the soup in a blender. You may need to add more water to make your soup "soupier". If the taste is too bland, add more chili powder to taste.
Makes 4-5 servings
If you don't need to go vegetarian, you can:
Chop some bacon, fry it up and saute your onion and garlic in the bacon fat (adding the cooked bacon into the soup pot), or add a smoked ham hock to the beans as they start to cook, or add chopped ham to the beans after they've been cooking for about 45 minutes.