1 pound bulk chorizo sausage or spicy smoked sausage
1/2 pound bacon, diced
2 smoked ham hocks
1 cup onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, coarsley chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 pound dried black beans
8 cups chicken stock
Kitchen Salt, to taste
2 cups grated cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
Corn tortilla strips, fried to a golden brown
2 ripe avocados, peeled & diced
Additional chopped cilantro or sliced green onions
Pick through the beans and discard any debris – wash under cold running water.
Set a large pot over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add bacon and chorizo sausage and saute for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the onions and jalapeno. Saute until onion is translucent, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute until fragrant. Immediately stir in chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, cumin, chili powder, paprika and chicken stock. Stir, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen any bits. Add beans and ham hock. Loosely cover with lid that his propped up on one side of the pot to allow steam to escape. Bring to a rolling boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer beans 2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes until beans are tender. Remove from heat.
Take out ham hock. Cut ham meat off the bone, cut into pieces and set aside.
Using a blender or immersion blender, puree just enough of the beans and stock (about a third of the total pot) to thicken up the soup and bring everything together. Season with kitchen salt to taste and fold ham meat back into the soup.
Cut stack of corn tortillas into 1/4″ strips and deep fry until golden brown.
Serve soup warm with garnishes on the side.
Yield: about 10-12 servings.