Mexican Ham and Bean Soup Recipe

Ham and Bean Soup 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups cubed smoked ham steaks

1 lb pinto beans

2 (14 1/2 ounce) cans diced tomatoes

8 cups fat free chicken broth

5 garlic cloves, minced

2 cups chopped onions

2 cups water

1/2 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese or Monterey Jack cheese

2 chipotle chiles in adobo, diced

1 tablespoon chili powder

2 teaspoons dried oregano

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

3 bay leaves

1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)

Preparation:

Sort and wash the pinto beans and place them in large heavy pot, covering them with water (about 2 inches above the beans). Bring to a boil and cook for about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover and let stand for about 1 hour. Drain. Combine the beans, chicken broth, water, ham steaks, garlic, onions, cumin, oregano, chili powder and bay leaves in the large heavy pan and bring to a boil. Partially cover and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours (or until the beans are tender). Stir in the diced tomatoes, chilies and liquid smoke (if using). Simmer for about 1 hour. Discard the bay leaves and serve by ladling the soup into bowls and topping with 1 tablespoon cilantro and 1 tablespoon cheese.

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