Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Easy Black Bean and Sausage Soup

It is finally soup weather in Maryland.  Our family LOVES soup and the truth is we don't really need cold weather to enjoy it in our home.

I needed a quick dinner and canned black beans were eye balling me in the cupboard.  I buy canned beans to have on hand for emergency situations, like when our power goes out for a week or two. Unfortunately it happens more than I would like to say.

The chicken sausages just seemed like the perfect addition once I included them to the black bean soup.

Speaking of perfect additions, I will take this time to share some cute baby pictures of Finnley.  She is a joy to have included in our family.  To see my older children interact with her brings a smile to my face.

I will say though, going anywhere with our clan is weird.  I never imagined myself with four kids and when we go to the mall or out to eat, we are big group; especially when two of our kids are adults.  I wouldn't change it for the world, in fact,  if I were younger I would have another one.

I love my family and kids. To me there is no other job I would prefer to have occupy my time and energy.  I enjoy writing about food and taking pictures of food but I will have lots of time throughout my life time to devote to such things.  My kids are only with us for a very short time.

This soup recipe was shared in Capital Style Magazine and so I shot this ingredient picture.  I love that the recipe is simple, healthy and taste like a gourmet bowl of deliciousness-rich, thick and full of flavor.

Easy Black Bean and Sausage Soup

Servings: 4-6 bowls
Prep. Time:  10 minutes
Cook Time:  1 hour

2-15 oz. cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 -16 oz cans of chicken broth
1 pound of smoked ham hocks (usually two hocks)
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

3 Chicken and Cilantro Sausage Links (optional)
3 cups of prepared rice (optional)
Toppings:  diced tomato, avocado, sour cream, grated cheese, cilantro

1.  In a large pot add the first 9 ingredients.

2.  Bring soup to a boil and then let simmer for 1 hour.  The soup will thicken, veggies will cook and any meat on the ham hock will fall off.

3.  Remove ham hock bones.  Using a potato masher, mash soup a few times.

4.  In a sauté pan, heat a small amount of oil.  Slice the chicken cilantro sausages and fry on each side.  Add to the soup.  Serve.

**To stretch the soup, it can be served over rice.  Top the soup with your favorite toppings.

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