Make Ahead

Pomegranate-Chipotle Black Bean Soup

December  3, 2012
Author Notes

While me and the rest of the world were googling pomegranate recipes, I came across one for a Pomegranate-Chipotle Glazed Black Bean Burger which sounded intriguing, minus the burger part. Coincidentally, I was planning on making black bean soup for dinner. And then this happened. Adapted from my favorite Black Bean Soup recipe in The Silver Palate Cookbook. Adjust the chipotle heat by using as little or as many peppers as you like. The soup thickens as it cools. When reheating, add a touch of water to thin it out, if desired. —mrslarkin

  • Serves six or more
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 celery rib, diced
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1 pound dried black beans, soaked overnight
  • 3 quarts water
  • 1 large meaty smoked ham hock (mine was 3 lbs)
  • 1 - 3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 2 - 3 teaspoons adobo sauce from the can of chipotle peppers
  • 3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate juice (or substitute 1/4 - 1/2 cup orange or lime juice)
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons dark or light brown sugar (I used 2 tablespoons)
  • cilantro, for garnish
  • sour cream or creme fraiche, for garnish
  • 3 tablespoons pomegranate arils, for garnish (optional)
In This Recipe
  1. In a large soup pot, heat the oil and add the celery, carrot, onion and garlic. Cook over low heat until the vegetables begin to soften.
  2. Drain the beans. Add them to the pot with the ham hock and water, along with the chipotle peppers, sauce, 2 tablespoons of parsley, 2 teaspoons cumin, the oregano, bay leaf, salt and black pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook, uncovered, for a good long time, like a couple of hours. You may have to add a bit of water depending on how long your beans will take to soften, and how much liquid evaporates.
  3. If beans are still not done, cover pot with lid for a few minutes.
  4. Remove hock from soup, and set aside until slightly cooled. Pull off and shred the meat, and return the meat to the pot.
  5. Stir in the remaining parsley, cumin, pomegranate juice and sugar. Simmer for 20 more minutes. Taste for salt and seasonings.
  6. Serve with a spoonful of sour cream, a sprig of cilantro, and a scattering of pomegranate arils, if desired.

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