Bacon Recipe: Spicy Black Bean Soup
1 lb dried black beans, soaked in water overnight
1/4 lb bacon, chopped
4 large cloves garlic, minced
3 stalks celery, minced
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
1/2 large red onion, diced
4 serrano peppers, diced, seeds left in. (but note, I've got a ridiculous pain tolerance and I cook for a husband who tends to like things *fuh-lay-ming* on the Scoville Scale, so adjust to your preference)
1 T. mustard powder
2 t. ground cumin seeds
1 t. black pepper
1 T. cajun seasoning (really, just root around in your spice cabinet and add what you think will go well...)
6 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1. Drain beans. Cover with water in a large stockpot and bring to a boil for 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.
2. Cook bacon in a saucepan 'til done. Drain the bacon grease.
3. Return the bacon to the saucepan with the vegetables and roots. Sautee with a little olive oil until vegetables and roots are tender. (Note, for conservation, you could just drain less bacon grease and use this as the fat. But I'm a Californian fan of olive oil and heart health. My southern husband is not amused.) Add spices to saucepan and stir for 1 minute or so.
4. Dump everything into to the stock pot with the beans, broth, water & bring to a simmer.
5. Simmer for approximately 2 hours 'til beans are tender to the bite, but not mushy.
6. Serves 4 alone as a hearty meal, or with homemade cornbread for major points.