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Black Bean Soup from Barranquilla, Colombia

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* In the kitchen On the Road

As a very pretentious young fellow in San Francisco in the early 1980s, my favorite book was The Gentleman's Companion. Actually it was two-volume set dedicated to good food, drink and travel from the food editor of the then relevant Town and Country magazine, Charles H. Baker, circa 1940. The recipes are surprisingly modern and most stand the test of time. All are written in an amusing style. You should keep your eyes peeled for a copy. Ballero2 Baker claims Colombia means emeralds, mahogany, coffee, gold and oil. I think it evokes different imagery today. I do know they still relish a good bean! Here is Baker's recipe for a black bean soup. 1 cup black beans, soaked (try our Midnight Black beans) 1 quart water 1 smoked hock or hambone 4 bay leaves 4 whole cloves 1/4 teaspoon celery seed 2 coarse celery stalks chopped fine, leaves and all 1 red onion 1 clove garlic 1 tablspoon butter or olive oil 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard 1 teaspoon chile powder 2 dashes Tabasco Saute chopped celery, onion and garlic in butter or olive oil. In a large pot, add all the ingredients, plus the sauteed vegetables. When cooked, remove the pork and the bay leaves. Put the remaining mixture through a blender and then a sieve. Serve piping hot, garnished with hard boiled eggs and lemon slices cut thin. Baker also notes a spoonful of non-sweetened whipped cream and a teaspoonful of dry sherry would be nice.


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