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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Soup: Black Bean Soup

Makes 4 to 6 servings
Time: 30 minutes with precooked beans

The best way to serve this soup is to puree about half of it, then pour it back into the pot. But you can also just mash the contents of the pot with a potato masher or large fork to get a similar smooth-chunky effect.

2 T canola or other neutral oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 T minced garlic
1 T chili powder, or to taste
3 C drained cooked black beans
4 C chicken, beef, or vegetable stock, or water, preferably warmed
Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 t freshly squeezed lime juice, or to taste
Sour cream or plain yogurt for garnish
Minced cilantro leaves for garnish

Place the oil in a large, deep saucepan or casserole and turn the heat to medium. A minute later, add the onions and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and chili powder and cook, stirring, another minute.
Add the beans and stock or water and season with salt and pepper. Turn the heat to medium-high and bring the soup just about to a boil. Turn the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat.
Force half the contents of the pot through a food mill or carefully puree it in a food processor or blender; or just mash the contents with a potato masher or large fork. (You may prepare the soup in advance up to this point. Cover, refrigerate for up to 2 days, and reheat before proceeding.)
Add the lime juice and stir; taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. Serve, garnished with sour cream or yogurt and minced cilantro.

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