SMOKY BLACK BEAN SOUP
2 teaspoons olive oil
8 ounces cooked ham, diced
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced zucchini
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
1 (14 ounce) can chicken broth
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained, rinsed and divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add diced ham and cook until lightly browned. Add onion and zucchini; cook until vegetables are tender. Stir in minced garlic and chipotle chili powder; cook 30 seconds. Add chicken broth, 1/2 cup black beans and salt. Puree remaining beans with water in a food processor or blender; stir into soup and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and then simmer for 30 minutes.
Optional: Garnish individual servings with sour cream and cilantro. Serve topped with a scoop of rice.
Yield: 4 servings
Be sure to dice the ham, onion and zucchini the same size. I forgot to do that, and my zucchini stood out because I didn't cut it as small. Not a real problem, but I think I'll prefer the zucchini smaller next time. Also, just 1/2 teaspoon of chipotle chile powder is pretty hot, reduce that if you don't care for hot.