Saturday, January 2, 2010

Loaded Black Bean Soup
•3 C dried black beans
•4 bullion cubes
•12-16 C water
•1 Tb canola oil
•2 green of red peppers, chopped
•2 onions, chopped
•1 1/2 T cumin
•2 T oregano
•1 1/2 T sugar
•2 t salt
•red onion
•sour cream
•cheddar cheese
•tortilla chips

1. Put the beans, bullion, and water in a large soup pot. Bring to a boil, then turn down to medium heat and let simmer for 2 1/2 hours. I always add a little bit of salt here as well.
2. When your beans are soft and cooked through, heat a large skillet up and add oil. Saute the chopped onion and pepper, until the onion is a beautiful golden brown color.
3. Blend the cooked onions and pepper in a blender with 1/2 C water, the cumin, and oregano. Don't puree this, just get it blended up a bit, so there are still some chunks in the mixture.
4. Add the onion/seasoning mixture to the soup.
5. Add the sugar and the salt.
6. Simmer for 10 minutes.
7. Serve with toppings.
This soup is actually better the second day, after it has had time to sit and soak up all the seasonings. However, it is great just after it's cooked with all these fresh toppings. My kids like to load it up with their favorites. (Chips and cheese...who would have guessed) I like to store individual sized servings in the freezer for a little back up plan when I'm having a moment of weakness. You know the kind of moment I'm talking about. The kind that hits you about 2:30 PM when you've been too busy to have lunch, and the only thing you can find in the fridge is that left over piece of cheesecake. It's the darndest thing...but black bean soup just doesn't stay on your hips like a great piece of cheesecake!
To freeze this soup, I use quart sized Ziploc freezer bags. Put the bag inside a large cup and fold the edges out and around the rim. Put two or three cups worth in, take the bag out of the cup, zip it up and lay it out flat. Lay them in your freezer and you are good to go!

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