Pressure-Cooked Black Bean Soup
From Aki Kamozawa and H. Alexander Talbot8 serving(s)
1 1/2 cups dried black beans
1 4-inch square of kombu (see note)
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 smoked ham shank
3 medium carrots, diced into bite-sized pieces
4 celery ribs, diced into bite-sized pieces
6 cups water
Fine sea salt for seasoning
1. Put the dried beans and kombu in a pressure cooker and cover with 2 inches of water. Cook at low pressure for 5 minutes and let the pressure dissipate naturally.
2. Cut up the vegetables while the beans are cooking. Put the chopped onion, cumin, chili powder, and cayenne in a medium saute pan set over medium-high heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the onions soften and begin to caramelize. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or so until the garlic begins to soften. Let the mixture cool at room temperature.
3. Strain the beans and kombu, discarding the liquid.
4. Put the ham shank in the bottom of a clean pressure cooker and add the cooked beans, onions, and spices. Add the carrots, celery, and the water and season lightly with fine sea salt. The smoked shank will lend its own salt to the soup, so it's better not to add too much at this point. Cook at high pressure for 25 minutes. Let the pressure dissipate naturally. Remove and discard the kombu.
5. Take the ham shank from the pot and let it rest on a cutting board until it is cool enough to handle comfortably, about 10-15 minutes. Remove and discard the skin and bones and shred or cut the meat into generous bite-sized pieces. If you like brothy black bean soup, return the ham to the pot, warm the soup slightly and serve. Alternatively you can puree up to half of the soup mixture and then return it to the pot with the ham for a thicker, heartier texture.
Note: Look for kombu at Asian or Japanese markets.
Per serving: 149 calories, 9 grams protein, 27 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams sugar, 1 gram fat, 2 milligrams cholesterol, 132 milligrams sodium, 7 grams dietary fiber.