This recipe comes from a very recent acquisition–Amy Vanderbilt’s Complete Cookbook (1961). My mum gave me this one for Christmas this year, and lemme tell ya, this one seems like a goody, especially since it features illustrations by Andrew Warhola!
Yeah, Warhola as in Warhol.
As I was flipping through the pages I realized that Vanderbilt’s cookbook is chock-full of recipes that are interesting, practical and appealing! It has the potential to become a go-to book for me.
For my first dish from this cook book I chose Cuban Black-Bean soup because one of the main ingredients was ham. And I had ham to burn–even after making my split-pea soup.
I didn’t change it much. Instead of using a chicken boullion packet in lieu of “beef extract” and subbing basil, parsley, and tarragon to replace the “herbes fines,” (whatever the hell that is). I also switched out bacon for salt pork.
So it was basically the same recipe–except for those 3 changes I just mentioned.
When I put in that hunk of meat, I expected that I would have to bring it out and chop it up at some point, but after 4 hours, it just fell apart into lovely little strands.
I also thought that this soup would be WAAAAY too mild for today’s palates, but I think I was wrong. It was a very nice soup and didn’t need much in the way of extra heat. It was perfect if you have a big group who like varying amount of spiciness.
But if you wanna kick it up, I would recommend adding a small can of green chiles while cooking, or adding 2 tsp or so of salsa verde when serving, or just letting everyone add cayenne and/or chili powder at the table to taste. I did both the salsa verde and cayenne pepper with some sour cream and Monterey Jack cheese (and homemade baked tortilla chips, of course).
Anyway, this was tasty and used up a good deal of ham, So right on, Amy Vanderbilt! And right on, Argyle Club of San Antonio for creating this dish!