• Black Bean Soup Saint Louis Club

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    • 1 lb black beans
    • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
    • 1 lrg onion finely minced
    • 1 x carrot finely minced
    • 6 c. chicken stock
    • 1 1/2 tsp chicken-flavored soup base see * Note
    • 1 x smoked ham hock
    • 3/4 c. diced ham
    • 1 tsp grnd cumin Salt to taste Freshly-grnd black pepper to taste


    1. * Note: Chicken-flavored soup base is a concentrated flavoring. Different brands vary in flavor and in salt content. Saint Louis Club uses Minor's brand, with no monosodium glutamate (MSG).
    2. The recipe was tested with good results with chicken-flavored Better Than Bouillon, a brand of soup base found at a Dierbergs store in the soup aisle near the bouillons.
    3. Soak beans in cool water overnight, filling pot with water to about 3 inches above beans.
    4. Drain beans; set aside.
    5. To sweat vegetables: Heat butter in a heavy stockpot. Add in onion and carrots. Place a sheet of aluminum foil or possibly parchment paper over vegetables, then cover pot with lid. Cook over medium heat till vegetables are soft, about 5 to 8 min. Don't brown. Throw away foil or possibly parchment.
    6. Stir in chicken stock and chicken base. Add in ham hock. Cook till ham hock is tender, about 30 min.
    7. Add in beans; cook till tender, about 30 to 45 min more.
    8. Remove ham hock. When cold sufficient to handle, remove meat from bone, dice and add in to beans. Stir in diced ham and grnd cumin.
    9. If soup is too thin, crush some beans in the pot or possibly remove some beans and puree, adding them back to the soup. If soup is too thick, add in more chicken stock. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
    10. This recipe yields 6 generous servings.
    11. Comments: This soup has been a longtime menu item at the Saint Louis Club, a private dining club at 7701 Forsyth Boulevard. Pierre Chambrin, executive chef, says it was already a favorite when he arrived at the club in 1994 after serving as White House chef under President George Bush. The club serves the soup with a garnish of red onions soaked in red wine vinegar served on the side.

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