Slow Cooker Pork and Black Bean Soup

This is my new favorite soup for four reasons: 
  1. It's made in the crockpot!
  2. I usually have all the ingredients on hand.
  3. My kids will usually eat anything that you crumble tortilla chips into.
  4. It's yummy!
I got this recipe from my friend Angela.  It was in the Woman's Day magazine and on their websiteOh, and don't forget about the giveaway ending this Sunday (Sept 25, 2011).  Your odds are pretty good for winning. :)

(If using canned beans instead of dry beans your soup won't be this thick. See the *'s in the recipe for my notes.   I actually made this another time with dry beans and I actually liked it better with canned beans, or maybe with 1/2 lb. of beans instead of 1 lb. )
Photo from Woman's Day
Slow Cooker Pork and Black Bean Soup
recipe from Woman's Day

6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 Tbsp chopped canned chipotle peppers in adobo, plus 2 Tbsp adobo sauce *
2 tsp ground cumin
1 lb dried black beans, rinsed** ( I like it better with 1/2 lb. beans)
1 large red onion, chopped***
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 1/2 lb boneless pork shoulder, trimmed of excess fat***
Kosher salt
Use any or some of these toppings for serving:  monterey jack cheese, sour cream, fresh salsa, cilantro, and tortilla chips

In a slow cooker, whisk together the chicken broth, chipotles and adobo sauce, and cumin; stir in the beans, onion and garlic.

Add the pork and cook, covered, until beans are tender and pork easily pulls apart, on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 5 to 6 hours.

Transfer pork to a bowl and, using a fork, break it into large pieces. Using a handheld immersion blender (or a standard blender), purée half the soup.

Stir the pork back into the soup and season with 1 tsp salt. Serve with toppings if desired.

*I bought a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce a while ago and froze each leftover pepper individually in a ice cube tray along with the extra sauce.  After they froze, I removed them from the tray and put them in a freezer ziploc bag to keep in the freezer.

**If you don't have any dried beans, use three cans of black beans (rinsed and drained).  If you use cans of beans, you might want to use less chicken broth if you want a thicker soup.

***I didn't have a red onion, so I used a little dried onion instead.

****Instead of using pork shoulder, I used a few pork chops since that's what I had on hand.  It shredded nicely and worked perfectly.