Melissa Rubel cleverly uses chicken sausage here: removing the casings, shaping the meat into balls, browning them and simmering them in chicken broth.
This ultrasimple soup requires little more than a couple of cans of black beans, some onion and a bit of cumin.
Good sausage is an excellent time-saver, because the links are already spiced and seasoned.
Top-quality jarred pesto is the key to this soup, contributing a lovely, herby nuttiness. Simmering the soup with a Parmigiano-Reggiano rind adds even more flavor complexity.
Simmering the scraps (the ham rind and corn cobs) in water makes a quick, tasty stock.