Next to Chili, there is nothing better on a cold and snowy day than a big bowl of Black Bean Soup. In Aizu, it snows a lot! After looking at a lot of recipes on RecipeZaar, I made a list of the things I wanted and headed for the local supermarket. Since labels are written in Japanese, I usually stick to the fresh produce and other things I can recognize. To make a long story short, I cooked the raw black beans I bought for a total of about 12 hours over 3 days and they never did get soft. I blended my soup ingredients anyway and although my black beans blended up black and tan, it still got a thumbs up from Jeff. But this is not the recipe for that soup. This is a recipe for a one pot soup that is delicious and just warms you to the bone! I named it Japanese Black Bean Soup just so you would look!