I heard about the famous black bean soup of the Coach House in New York City from
Rinse and sort the beans, discarding any stones or discolored beans. Soak overnight in cold water, adding more water if needed. Put the beans, onion, carrot, celery, garlic, bouquet garni, ham bone, and chicken stock to cover in a large heavy pot. Bring to a boil and skim off any scum that rises to the surface. Simmer slowly, loosely covered, until the beans are tender, about 2 hours. Add more stock if the level falls below the surface of the beans and stir often to prevent sticking and to ensure that the beans cook evenly.
When the beans are cooked, put them through a meat grinder or food mill fitted with a medium- or fine-mesh disk. Mix the bean puree with the cumin and chili powder.
Mix the sour cream and milk until smooth.
Heat the bean puree, adding more stock to get a consistency that will pour out of a ladle like thin hot cereal. Season and pour into warm soup plates. Drizzle the sour cream over each serving and put the salsa in the center.
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