HamBoneSoupSQServes 8 to 10

This soup is a great way to use a ham bone. The beans are added at two stages to give it a more complex texture—some falling apart, some holding their shape
Top the soup with yogurt, sour cream or crema and chopped fresh cilantro and serve with lime wedges.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, cut into small dice
1 green bell pepper, cut into small dice
1 carrot, cut into small dice
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 jalapeno pepper (seeds and ribs included), minced
1 tablespoon round cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons Mexican oregano (you can substitute Mediterranean)
1 cup dry white wine
20 ounces (1 1/4 pounds) dried black beans, soaked
1 ham bone, or 2 pounds smoked ham hocks
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large soup kettle over medium heat. Add onions, pepper, and carrot; sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, jalapeno, cumin, paprika, and oregano; sauté until fragrant, another minute. Add wine; simmer for a few minutes and then add half the beans along with ham bone or hocks, bay leaves, and enough water to cover (7 to 8 cups). Simmer for 30 minutes. Add remaining beans; simmer until the first batch of beans is nearly falling apart and second batch is just tender. Remove ham bone or hocks. When cool enough to handle, remove any large chunks of meat and return them to the pot. Puree half the soup in a food processor, blender, or immersion blender. Return it to the pot, adjusting seasonings including salt and pepper to taste, and adding more water, if necessary to bring it to thick soup consistency. Return soup to a simmer and serve with suggested condiments (see above).