10 slices bacon, finely chopped

2 smoked ham hocks

2 medium onions, chopped (about 2½ cups)

6 garlic cloves, pressed

2 cans chicken stock (14½ oz each)

1½ cups chopped tomatoes

2 cups red wine (Burgundy or Merlot work great)

3/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

1 Tbsp chili powder (chipotle)

4 cans black beans, drained but not rinsed (15½ oz cans)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

One bunch thinly sliced green onions

Sour cream, for garnish

Grated smoked Gouda, for garnish


Put bacon into a large heavy pot and place over medium heat.

Cook until it starts to give up its fat, about 4 minutes.

Stir in onions and cook, stirring, until they start to turn translucent, about 4 minutes.

Stir in the garlic and cook until you can smell it, about 1 minute.

Add the broth, scallions, tomatoes, wine, Worcestershire, chili powder and ham hocks.

Stir in the beans, turn the heat to high and bring to a boil.

Adjust the heat so the soup is bubbling gently and cook 40 minutes or so.

If the soup becomes too thick, you can add more wine or stock. (I always choose the wine — go figure.)

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with the garnishes.

*I like to cook my soups a bit longer.

For black bean I like it when the ham hocks start to fall off the bone slightly.

There is not much meat on them and should be used for seasoning purposes.

For more recipes from Jeff Tracy, the Cowboy Cook, visit

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