Soupy Black Beans with Smoked Sausage

© Katherine Stetson

Ham stock is one of the most divine things I know and its uses are endless!

  • 1 meaty ham bone
  • plenty of spring water
  • 1 pound black beans, rinsed
  • ½ pound link smoked sausage
  • 1 onion, peeled and halved
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 2” pieces
  • 2 celery ribs, cut into 2” pieces
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • sea salt, to taste, at the end of the cooking
  • freshly ground pepper


  • Fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • Sour cream
  • Lime wedges
  • Fresh salsa or salsa verde
  • Fried tortilla strips

Pour beans into a bowl and cover with boiling water.  Set aside while preparing the ham stock.

Lightly brown sausage in a skillet or on a charcoal grill.  Slice or dice into desired size.  Set aside.

Place ham bone in a large stock pot or Dutch oven and fill pot with water ¾’s of the way up the bone.  Add the onion, carrots and celery. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for at least two hours.  Skim off any foam or scum that surface.

Remove ham bone from pot and discard.  With a slotted spoon, check for any ham remnants and discard.  Blend stock and aromatics in a blender or with an immersion blender until smooth.  Return pot to stove and add drained beans and remaining ingredients (except smoked sausage and salt).  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 1-2 hours or until beans are evenly tender.  Add smoked sausage and cook an additional 10 minutes.  Taste soup and add additional herbs or salt, as desired.

Serve with an assortment of garnishes.

Copyright © Katherine Stetson, all rights reserved.