recovery: black bean soup with ham

Dealing with a small electrial fire, electrians, and finding a new place to live really caught me off guard and into the waiting arms of a big bad sickness. I hate being sick and having this flu was the absolute worst. I was achy and sore all over — even my eyeballs hurt! — so looking at a computer screen was pretty much out of the question. I slept almost all the time, my hacking cough could raise the dead, and not once did I think about food or eating. Did you hear what I said? Food just wasn’t an issue for me for almost an entire week which has never happened to me before. Me, I’m always planning out meals or dreaming up some fantastic sounding dessert or browsing recipes for ideas. Food and what I’m going to be putting into my mouth is always a constant. But being sick was a total mind fuck. Now I realize why Cornelius is so thin and how he can forget to eat meals and how he doesn’t really care what’s for dinner. This is how the other half lives! All week I’ve survived on lemon and ginger tea, grapefruit halves and canned soup. I’m alive, I’m recovering, and I almost feel like myself again. I’m still not thinking about food very much or what I’ll eat for dinner, but I know that there is no doubt I’ll be returning to my old self very soon.

In the meantime, I’ll post a recipe I wanted to write about before all of this happened. This black bean soup is good for what ails you and it’s great even if you’re in tip-top health. It’s super fast to make using canned beans and fresh prepared salsa and only a little bit of chopping to keep you busy. When I served it for dinner one night, Cornelius said that next time I should make a big batch and keep it in the freezer so there’s always some available. And coming from someone who isn’t crazy about soup, it’s high praise indeed.

This soup would work well for vegetarians, leaving out the ham and subbing in vegetable stock, but I’m sure it would be even more wonderful with some crumbled chorizo sausage instead of the ham. Hmmm, something to think about when I’m actually thinking about food again!

15 comments to “recovery: black bean soup with ham”

  1. 1
    eviedee   March 6, 2007 at 11:18 pm

    This sounds absolutely delightful! Sorry to hear that you weren’t feeling well! Not even able to think about food, I can’t even IMAGINE!

  2. 2
    crystal   March 6, 2007 at 11:34 pm

    am i crazy? i don’t see ham in the ingredients list. i need amounts so i can make this!

  3. 3
    Joanne   March 7, 2007 at 6:25 am

    Welcome back kickpleat!

    The flu is a horrible thing to have to go through. The best remedy is sleep. I’m glad to hear that you are feeling a bit like your old self. I’m sure you’ll be back in tip-top cooking and baking form in no time.

    This black bean soup sounds perfect for my recent cravings of beans!

    Having no recipe to go by, I tried to make a lentil and sausage dish that I saw you had posted on flickr. The dish turned out well enough, but I would like to know how yours turned out, i.e. what spices and flavourings you used, etc.

    I’ve been wanting a reason to buy some avocados too, but at $1.50 each (for non-organic) and as hard as apples, it’s almost not worth buying them. In the summer avocados cost .89 cents and they can be used right away since they are so ripe.

    I’m looking forward to your culinary ‘renaissance’ in the form of many wonderful posts about food.

  4. 4
    kickpleat   March 7, 2007 at 9:26 am

    thanks eviedee! it was a very very strange thing this not thinking about food!

    no crystal, you aren’t crazy! i did have it in there but i noticed when i switched from html mode to layout mode, my ingredient list was disappearing and i guess i didn’t notice that the ham was missing! it’s back in, so please go ahead and make!

    joanne, the secret to the dish i posted on flickr was stewing the lentils & sausages in red wine. yum! aww, too bad avocados are so expensive where you are. here, they are still pretty cheap!

  5. 5
    Caty   March 7, 2007 at 12:51 pm

    It looks great and I hope you’re feeling better soon!

  6. 6
    linda   March 7, 2007 at 3:55 pm

    So Sorry you were sick… welcome back to the world of food!
    The black bean sounds amazing (and I could eat avocados forever)

  7. 7
    Max   March 8, 2007 at 11:51 am

    I don’t eat pork, but I think I may substitute a spicy turkey sausage. I think they even make turkey chorizo now too. But I’ll definitely be trying this – it looks heart-warming! Feel better! 🙂

  8. 8
    kickpleat   March 8, 2007 at 12:24 pm

    thanks caty, it is really one of those yummy and easy to make soups!

    thank you linda! yes, avocados are soo good right now! yum.

    max, it would be great with turkey sausage…something that brings out the smokey taste in the dish.

  9. 9
    Jess   March 8, 2007 at 10:26 pm

    This sounds awesome. I’ll try it.

  10. 10
    jenn   March 9, 2007 at 5:52 pm

    Sounds great, after my kitchen/dinning room renos are over I’ll be cooking again! I’ll have to try it! Sorry your not feeling well. Get better soon 🙂

  11. 11
    emeraldtiger   March 10, 2007 at 9:15 am

    sorry you’ve been sick–hope you’re on the mend! there’s nothing quite like the flu to knock a person out of commission. this soup looks so delicious! not sure if you already know this about me, but i’m a big soup person. and i agree…bean & legume/lentil soup recipes are often flexible in their ability to please vegetarians and carnivores alike. that’s how my pea soup recipe is–it can be vegan/vegetarian or it can be flavored with ham or bacon. 🙂

  12. 12
    Caroline   March 11, 2007 at 8:49 pm easy and great pic..

  13. 13
    Maija   March 14, 2007 at 12:18 pm

    Thanks for the great blog – I just discovered it somehow (thru the magic of google connections, I suppose). It’s reinspired me to cook again – I always seem to go thru phases, especially depending on the season. I like this black bean soup recipe a lot – I think personally I would reduce the broth as it was a little liquidy for me. I did 4 cups, but maybe only 3 cups next time. Otherwise, delicious! Your gingerbread muffin recipe also was a big hit – and I’ll keep combing your archives for more great ideas!

  14. 14
    Harry and Eddie   March 14, 2007 at 2:08 pm

    I’d been saving this recipe for a week or so to try, and yesterday I made up a batch. Everything was already in the house, including a batch of frozen ham slices from last Easter. I used our favorite fire-roasted salsa from Costco, so no extra hot sauce was needed. It tasted great then, but can’t wait to try it tonight with the avocado and sour cream. Thanks!

  15. 15
    kickpleat   March 14, 2007 at 3:12 pm

    jess, it is awesome! try it.

    jenn, i’m still not feeling better! crazy flu!!

    emeraldtiger, so true about bean soups. but i do think the ham imparted it’s wonderfulness into the soup.

    thanks cazzer65!

    maija, thanks for finding me out and i’m glad you’re able to get some use out of my recipes!

    glad you liked the soup, harry. i have a confession in that i just guess-timated the liquid amounts! it sure looked like 4 cups but it may have only been 3.

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