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Slow Cooker Cuban Black Bean and Ham Hock Soup

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Hello Dear Reader,

This is another, new to me recipe, for the slow cooker. I am an avid collector of recipes in all forms, bits torn from magazines and newspapers, old and new recipe books and word or mouth. I adapted this recipe from a Slow Cooker recipe book that I have had for ages and as the weather has been slightly cooler, it is the right time of year for cranking up my slow cooker.

I love to be at home with something delightful cooking in the slow cooker. There is a tiny bit of cooking at the beginning, but then it is just set and forget. Did I mention how much I love my slow cooker?

When you use your slow cooker, it also feels like a night off cooking as there is a whole meal prepared, ready to go at the end of the day, it is perfect for a busy family, large or small and I think it also prevents last minute takeaway's after a big day at home or work. I put this soup on at 10 am on Saturday morning as I wanted it to be ready for 6 pm in the evening. I don't go out much at all, especially at night, but my sister and I have decided to go back to Ballroom dancing, so we wanted to have something substantial but not too heavy on the tummy, before we went dancing. Enter this warming and wonderfully smokey soup.

Ingredients for Cuban Black Bean and Ham Hock Soup 

Finely chop the onion, grate the garlic on a microplane, and chop up the capsicum 

Sauce the Onion, Garlic and Capsicum 

When the onion has softened add the cumin and chilli flakes, stir until fragrant 

To the bowl of a slow cooker add the Ham Hock, 2 litres of water, can of Tomatoes, soaked, cooked and drained Black Beans, Oregano and sautéed Onion/Capsicum and spice mixture. Cook on low for 8 hours. When cooked, remove Ham Hock and take off all the meat, also remove 2 cups of soup and let cool for 10 minutes, then blitz until smooth. Return the shredded meat and pureed soup back to slow cooker 

Just before serving, add chopped fresh tomato, finely chopped Coriander ( I grow Perennial Coriander) and freshly squeezed juice of half a Lime

Super Delish, just a hint of heat from the Chilli and all the Smokiness from the Ham Hock. Finished with the freshness of tomato, Coriander and Lime 

300 grams dried Black Turtle Beans or canned equivalent
1 KG Ham Hock
1 medium Onion, chopped 
3 cloves garlic, grated on a microplane
1 Red Capsicum, chopped
3 teaspoons Cumin 
1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes 
Small handful fresh Oregano, stripped from the stem 
1 can Chopped Tomatoes
2 litres water
To serve soup-1 large Tomato-chopped, small handful Coriander-finely chopped, juice of half a Lime

Place beans in a large bowl, cover with cold water and soak overnight
Drain and rinse beans, place in a medium saucepan, cover with cold water, bring to a gentle boil, boil uncovered for 15 minutes and drain again
Meanwhile preheat oven to 200 C and roast Ham Hock for 30 minutes, this intensifies the smokey flavour
Heat oil in a frypan and sauté Onion, Capsicum and Garlic until Onion has softened 
Add Cumin and Chilli, sauté until fragrant
In the bowl of a slow cooker add Ham Hock, Black Beans, Water, tin of Tomatoes, Oregano, Onion/Capsicum and spice mix
Cook on low for 8 hours
Remove Ham Hock from slow cooker and remove all meat from bone and shred with a fork. Discard skin, fat and bone of hock
Remove 2 cups of soup and blitz until smooth, add this blitzed soup and the meat back to the slow cooker
Just before serving, add Tomato, Lime juice and sprinkle with Coriander

This is an ultra warming and very economical soup. It is also better on the second night as the flavours really mingle.

Bring on Winter, and all the warming meals that go with it.

So, tell me, what is your family's favourite winter warming soup? 

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