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Spicy Black Bean Soup

Other garnishing ideas for this soup include shredded sharp cheddar or Monterey jack cheese, chopped fresh cilantro and thinly sliced green onions.

Ingredients:

  • 4 bacon slices, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 2 chipotle chilies in adobo, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • 2 cans (each 14 1/2 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup sour cream

Directions:

Cook the bacon and vegetables
In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook the bacon until the fat is rendered, about 5 minutes. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 2 minutes. Stir in the garlic, tomato, cumin, chili powder, chipotle chilies and vinegar.

Simmer the soup
Add the beans, broth and the 1 tsp. salt. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, partially covered, to heat through and blend the flavors, about 10 minutes.

In a blender or food processor, puree 1 to 2 cups of the soup, then return it to the pan and reheat the soup to serving temperature. Season with salt and pepper.

Ladle the soup into warmed bowls, garnish with the sour cream and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Soup, by Georgeanne Brennan (Oxmoor House, 2006).