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Bajan Black Bean Soup

Ingredients:

Bajan Black Bean Soup Recipe
2 1/2 c Dried black beans, soaked-overnight
1 large Or 2 small ham hocks
3 To 3.5 quarts water
3 tb Olive oil
2 To 3 large onions
4 Cloves garlic
3 sm Fresh green peppers-(jalapeños if preferred)
8 Berries allspice coarsely crushed
2 ts Brown sugar (or 1 t of molasses)
3 tb Tomato paste
3/4 c Creme fraiche or sour cream
Salt
Grated rind and juice from one lemon

Directions:

Put the drained beans and hock in a very large pan, cover with the cold water and bring gradually to a boil. Leave to simmer while you prepare the other ingredients.

In a frying pan heat the olive oil, then gently fry the onion, garlic and chili with the allspice and lemon rind, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent. Add this mixture to the beans and go on simmering for 2 hours, by which time the beans should be tender. At this point add the sugar, lemon juice, and tomato puree. Cook for another 30 minutes. Add salt if necessary.

Remove the hock, and pick off any meat. If you would like a smooth soup, as mine (the author) was, process the mixture in batches and return with the meat to the pan. Otherwise, for a rougher texture crush with a potato masher. If the mixture seems too thick at this stage, add more water and bring back to the boil for a minute or two.

Ladle the soup into bowls, with a spoonful or two of cream stirred in, and serve soup with a crusty bread.

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