1. Sort the dry beans & pick out any stones or field debris. Rinse thoroughly several times to remove any dirt. Drain and place in large clean bowl and cover beans with about 10 cups of cold water. Cover bowl and let soak overnight at room temp til whenever you cook the next day.
2. Make a chicken and/or ham stock from whatever you have on hand, strain and discard all solids. Place in large bowls, cover and refrigerate overnight.
1. Uncover the beans and lift out & discard any floaters ("dead" beans and loose skins). Rinse several times til the water runs clear and allow to drain completely while you prep the rest of the ingredients.
2. If you're using refrigerated homemade stock, remove any congealed fat from the top of the jellied stock, gently warm and hold til it's time to add to stockpot.
3. Heat oil in large stockpot and add onion, red & green pepper, celery, carrot and diced tomato. Cook about 8-10min, stirring frequently.
4. Add garlic, cumin seeds, oregano, chile powder. Stir to combine and cook about 3min.
5. Stir in 6c stock (we used 2c ham stock and 4c chicken stock) and add bay leaves, drained beans, ham, jalapeno, rum. Once the stock has come to temp, cover & simmer gently about 45min.
6. Stir in 2c water or stock (we used ham stock), uncover and simmer another 45 min or until beans are very tender.
7. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
8. Use a potato masher (not an immersion blender) to smash about half of the beans in the stockpot so that the soup becomes cloudy and a bit thicker.
9. Serve and top with whatever you prefer. Emeril used chopped hard-cooked egg & diced red onion.
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