Get the Black Bean and Chorizo Soup Recipe here.
About the recipe:
As I write this, it is the beginning of January 2018, and the East Coast is in the grips of a huge winter cold front. Outside my door, it is a whopping 8 degrees fahrenheit. This makes it officially Soup Weather. I should preface this recipe by pointing out that I am not a soup person, by and large. My wife can (and will) happily eat soup year round. I tend to be much more picky about when and what soups I will indulge in. With that being said, this is one soup that I will devour anytime I make it (summer or winter). A few years ago I made it during the dog days of summer for our housewarming party and had nary a leftover despite the heat.
This soup is packed with flavor while also being easy to make and relatively hands off once you get the initial prep and cooking done. I like doing this recipe in the oven both for consistency as well as ease. Once you get the soup to a simmer, you just pop it in the oven and check it occasionally. No muss, no fuss.
I highly recommend searching out a smoked ham hock to use for this recipe. I have made these beans in the past and skipped it, but I am here to say that the soup is much superior with it added. With the smoked ham hock meat shredded and added back into the dish, you get small bursts of smokey goodness that come as a surprise every time.
Also, if you’re in a pinch, you can skip using the veggies and go with a couple cans of Rotel. It is nowhere near as delicious as when you make this recipe with raw ingredients, but if you are ever trying to get dinner on the table for a couple of kids it will do.
Speaking of kids… This is a dish that my wife and I have employed to great effect in feeding our two children. For one, they love chips. Using tortilla chips for a bit of crunch in this recipe helps make it kid friendly around here. Adding chopped spinach in as well ups the nutrition factor and gets some much needed (and otherwise avoided) greens into the boys’ diet. If your children are anything like ours, I recommend chopping it into fairly small pieces so they can’t pick it out. The spinach disappears behind the cumin and pork flavors that dominate. You can always cut back on the amount of Poblano you are adding to the dish although we had no issues using a medium sized one that we thoroughly deseeded. Depending on the brand of chorizo you use (Johnsonville is easy to find in grocery stores and easier for spice intolerant folks) you can also control your spice level. Keep in mind, the broth from this soup holds most of the spice, so up the bean to broth ratio for the kiddos. If you are preparing this without the spicy concerns, feel free to ramp up the heat with the pepper of your choice (we like adding a tabasco off our bush).
My wife points out that a nice homemade creme fraiche would be a nice addition to this meal
As always, season as you go and taste, taste, taste. It’s your dinner, make it the way you like to eat it.
At some point, I would really like to try this using Spanish chorizo. Spanish chorizo is a harder sausage than its Mexican cousin. Rather than the ground product this recipe calls for, with Spanish chorizo you would slice this up and add it early on.
This another one of those really flexible dishes. You can reheat it and eat it again as a soup. Alternatively, you could use the beans (heated, drained) as a side dish for something else. Personally, I like to puree them and mix with some melted cheese to make a helluva good bean dip.
If you are making this in the summer, you could drain the beans and mix with avocado, fresh diced tomato, serrano chili, olive oil, and some lime juice for a delicious pico de gallo.