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Black Bean Soup

There are lots of different versions of this delectable soup. This recipe is one of the easier, tastier ones around (of course, my opinion is slightly biased). To make this a complete meal, add some bread or tortilla chips and a salad. Or, this soup could make a good start to a Mexican or Spanish themed meal.

2 cans black beans (15.5-oz. cans)
2 1/2 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minceda1/2 teaspoon oreganoa1/4 teaspoon dried thymea1/4 teaspoon ground cumina1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (reduce to 1/8 teaspoon for moderate spiciness)aSalt and pepper, to taste

In a large soup pot, saute onions, chopped carrot and garlic in olive oil over medium heat for 10 minutes.

Stir in oregano, thyme, cumin, cayenne pepper, black beans and chicken broth. Adjust heat to medium-low and simmer for 35 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Place 3/4 of the soup in a blender and puree until smooth. Add the pureed soup back into the pot and stir together.

Taste for salt and pepper.

Garnish with a dollop of sour cream, some chopped tomatoes and chopped cilantro (scallions can also be a nice touch). Serve some shredded cheddar or Monterey jack cheese and cilantro on the side to make the soup extra hearty, especially if it's your main course.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 45 minutes

Serves: 4

Faith Heinauer's "Cooking FUNdamentals"

Thursday, October 19, 2000

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