To use up half a Savoy cabbage from a previous post I checked through my notes for this Black Bean and Potato Soup recipe I’d developed several years ago. That included a garnish of slow-cooked cabbage and bacon. Then, I realised last night that it tastes far better with Bavarian smoked ham instead (besides, less cooking and washing up to do). Hmm. Think I’ll go with both. Especially as the ham used last night was my last slice. So, couldn’t take photos of the soup with it today. Anyway, I’ll be taking photos tomorrow of the leftovers – with smoked ham. As usual I’ll be updating.
My advice with this is to sweat the base vegetables for as long as possible to gain extra flavour. As for the stock cubes: I’d only use one before the soup is liquidised (blended) and the potatoes are cooked. Then taste for any extra stock needed before adding the black beans.
Black Bean and Potato Soup, with shredded Bavarian smoked ham
FOR THE BASE:
- rapeseed (canola) or olive oil
- 150g (5.29 oz) x onions, peeled and chopped
- 100g (3.52 oz) or 1 stalk x celery, washed, cut into dice (try to remove as much ‘string’ as possible before dicing them)
- 100g (3.52 oz) x leek, white and light green, washed, cut in half, then lengthways in half, and sliced crossways and thoroughly rinsed
- 1/2 x green jalapeño chilli, washed, deseeded (mine ended up about 6cm (2½ inches) in length)
- 2 – 3 x garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
- 1/4 x teaspoon red pepper flakes
FOR THE SOUP:
- 500ml (1.05 US pt lqd) x water
- 1½ – 2 x (organic) very low salt vegetable stock cubes (if using regular use less)
- 350g (12.34 oz) x new potatoes, scrubbed and sliced crossways into discs
- 1 x 400g or 240g drained weight (14.10 oz or 8.46 oz drained) can (organic) black beans, well rinsed
- up to 100ml (0.21 US pt lqd) single/light cream, more to personal taste
- 1 x slice of Bavarian smoked ham per person, shredded
- Put a large heavy-based saucepan on electric heat No 3 (out of 6). As vegetables are prepared add them to the pan when it’s hot enough and oil has been added. Onions need more time so I start with those, then celery, etc. As the onions are beginning to soften reduce heat to No 2 (unless you’re short of time and can stay with them). I preferred to cook this over low heat and was able to get on with other chores. This I stirred through every 10 – 15 minutes to prevent scorching. Mine slow-cooked for about 45 minutes. Before adding the water in next step sprinkle over the cayenne.
- When veg are nicely sweated pour in the water, add only 1 stock cube initially. Up heat to No 3 again to dissolve the stock cube completely.
- Allow the base to cool a little before pouring into a liquidiser/blender. Purée until smooth. Pour back into the same saucepan that has been rinsed out, if necessary. Put back on heat No 4 and add the potatoes as those are prepared. When at boiling point reduce heat to No 2, add a lid and simmer until potatoes are cooked. Take off heat, taste when cool enough for any needed extra stock. If that’s added put back on heat and stir through until completely dissolved. Check for any needed seasoning before adding the drained black beans. Put back on heat again, add a little cream to personal taste and heat through until beans are piping hot.
- Serve with shredded Bavarian smoked ham or slow-cooked Savoy cabbage and pan-fried crispy bacon.
If serving slow-cooked cabbage:
- rapeseed or olive oil
- 1/2 x Savoy cabbage, shredded crossways
- a little water
- favourite bacon, pan-fried separately and broken into bits when cool enough to handle
- Shred the cabbage crossways, add to a large heavy-based saucepan or pan/skillet, put on heat No 2 initially for about 10 minutes with a little oil and water (very little water is needed. It’s used to prevent the cabbage from drying out). Reduce heat to No 1 and slow-cook for up to an hour stirring occasionally and checking for any needed water. The cabbage should be soft rather than crunchy.
- Pan-fry bacon until nicely crisp. Allow to cool before breaking into small bits.
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