Smoky Black Bean and Neck Bone Soup
4-6 bell peppers (I like to use use red or a combination of red and yellow.)
3-4 sweet onions ( I use Texas 1015’s.)
3-4 red jalapenos; whole
3-4 green jalapenos; whole
1.5 pounds smoked pork neck bones
1 pound dried black beans
6-8 corn tortillas
garlic to taste
1 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp dried; or 6 leaves fresh (chopped fine)
black pepper to taste
2 ears fresh corn, husked and cleaned; kernels cut from the cobs.
1 T instant roux
I fire up the Smokenator on my Weber grill for this. I’ve also done it with direct heat, which is much quicker; but yields not as much smoky flavor. But still, VERY good.
Cook the onions and peppers by either method you prefer. With the smokenator, it takes hours; by direct grilling, it’s a matter of minutes. Rotate the vegetables around as needed to try to cook all of them evenly. If grilling directly, I’d brush the veggies with a bit of oil first.
Once blistered, transfer peppers to plastic bags and seal. Allow to steam until they’re cool enough to handle (at least 15 minutes). Then remove the skins; cut open and remove seeds and veins. Store peppers and onions in the fridge until ready to use.
Cook a pound of black beans according to package instructions. Sometimes I soak them overnight; sometimes I don’t. I like to put the beans in a slow cooker; add the neck bones; then cover with water. Cook until beans are tender. Amount of time varies. Mine are usually done in 3-4 hours.
Remove neckbones and pull meat from bones. Discard bones. Drain the beans, reserving the liquid. Put the liquid back in the pot. Add two cups of the beans to the pot. Save the rest of the beans for another time. Add the meat to the soup pot.
Bring up the heat, and add the corn. If desired, you can quick cook the corn first in a hot skillet with a bit of butter. I accidentally scorched some of mine, and it added great flavor. Or, you may use canned corn (drained), if it’s all you can get.
Dice two cups (or more) of the peppers and onions and add to the pot. Cut or tear tortillas into small bite-size piece and add to the pot. Add the sugar, black pepper, basil, garlic powder, Worchester, and hot sauce. Stir in the instant roux.
Continue cooking at least 30 minutes.