This is a truly delicious way to make use of the last bit of a bone in ham.
The ham bone create a wonderfully flavored broth. The beans make it thick and hearty.
1/2 pound dry black beans, sorted and rinsed
1/2 14 1/2 ounce can whole tomatoes, undrained
1/2 cup sliced celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 smoked ham hock or ham bone
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/4 teaspoon thyme leaves
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
2 cups hot cooked rice
1/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup picante sauce
Cover beans with water; soak overnight
Drain beans and place in a crock pot.
Add tomatoes with juice, celery, onion, green pepper, ham hock, garlic, bay leaf, red pepper, thyme, chicken broth and
water; cook on high for 1/2 hour.
Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, 4 to 5 hours or until beans are tender; stir occasionally. Add more water if necessary during simmering.
Remove and discard bay leaf.
Remove ham hock and cut meat off bone; return meat to beans.
Purée half of soup in blender or food processor; return to pot.
Season soup with salt and black pepper.
Serve soup with rice, cheese, sour cream and picante sauce.