Black Bean Soup

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(serves 8-10)

1 pound black beans, soaked in water overnight

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¼ C vegetable oil

2 green bell peppers, diced small

1 large yellow onion, diced small

6-8 garlic cloves, minced

¾ C red wine

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1 T dried oregano

2 t cumin

1 ½ t red pepper flakes

5 bay leaves

1 – 28 ounce can diced tomatoes and juice

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6-7 C chicken stock (or vegetable)

1 T salt

Juice from one lemon

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COMFORT

In a preheated soup pot, add vegetable oil. Add bell peppers, onion, garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté over medium heat until mix begins to stick and vegetables soften. Add red wine to deglaze and reduce until it is almost completely evaporated. (See photo) Add some stock at this point (1 C) to prevent sticking. Add oregano, cumin, red pepper flakes, bay leaves and tomatoes. Stir well. Add remaining stock, salt, juice and beans. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover. Cook over a gentle boil until beans are tender. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Add more stock if you desire a thinner consistency. I prefer thick. In fact, I suggest taking an immersion blender and placing it right into the pot for a few zaps. This thickens the broth nicely. The soup freezes well. And guess what? Prepared ahead and reheated is always better with this recipe. Serve with fresh pico de gallo, queso fresco and cornbread.

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3 Romas – gutted and diced-, 2 jalapenos – gutted and diced-, 1/2 a yellow onion – diced small and rinsed-, chopped cilantro, spritz of salt, and drizzle of EVOO…PERFECT PICO

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