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SLOW COOKER RECIPE: Black Bean Bistro Soup

1-medium onion, diced
3-cloves garlic, minced
1-smoked pork hock
6-cups water
1-tsp ground cumin
1-tsp dried oregano
1-bay leaf
1-tsp salt
1/2-tsp black pepper
1-19oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
OR 2-cups cooked black beans, rinsed and drained
1lb hot Italian sausage, browned and cut into 1" pieces
1-red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
2-tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1-tbsp dry sherry
1-tbsp brown sugar
2-tbsp lemon juice
Sour cream

In slow cooker, combine onion, garlic, smoked pork hock, water, cumin, oregano, bay leaf, salt, pepper, and black beans; stir to mix well
Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-6 hours, until meat is tender
Gently remove the pork hock
Shred the meat and set aside
Remove the bay leaf and discard
Transfer 1-cup of bean mixture to a food processor or blender and process until smooth
Return to slow cooker with shredded meat
Add cooked sausage, red pepper, parsley, sherry, brown sugar, and lemon juice
Cover and cook on high for 1 hour
Ladle soup into bowls and dollop with sour cream