Black Bean Soup
1 pound (2 cups) dry Black Beans, soaked
1/4 cup butter
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 medium onions, chopped
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
Rind and bone from a smoked ham
2 bay leaves
1-1/2 teaspoons slat
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup dry Madeira
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 (16-ounce) carton sour cream
Drain beans, add 8 cups of cold water and simmer for 1-1/2 hours. Melt the butter in a heavy kettle. Add the celery and onions and sauté until tender but not browned. Blend in the flour and cook the mixture, stirring, for one minute. Add the parsley, the beans and cooking liquid, the ham rind and bone, bay leaves, salt and pepper; cover and simmer for 3 hours. Discard the ham bone and rind, but keep any bits of meat.
Put the soup through a sieve or food mill, or purée in a blender. Add the wine and vinegar. Reheat the soup, stir in the sour cream, but do not let the soup come to a boil.
Optional: The soup may be garnished with sour cream, minced raw onion, chopped hard-cooked egg, or tangerine sections.
Servings per recipe: 10 to 12