Saturday, September 20, 2008

Black Bean Soup...mmmm...mmm...good!

On Thursday we had black bean soup for dinner. We started out this month spending a little more than we should on groceries. Thus, this last week I tried to keep costs down so the menu included some less expensive meals. You can buy a bag of dried black beans at Walmart for 1.14. I'm sure there are cheaper places as well. I would say that the bag cooked would produce about 4 cans worth of black beans. A can of black beans will range from fifty cents to a dollar. Not another bad option, as this recipe made enough for two meals for our family of 5 (three young children that is). And the kids loved it! I used my pressure cooker to cook the beans so, all in all, this recipe took me under an hour.


Black Bean Soup

10 slices bacon, finely chopped
2 medium onions, chopped (about 2 1/2 cups)
6 garlic cloves, pressed
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups canned chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon chili powder
4 (15 1/2-ounce) cans black beans, drained but not rinsed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch cilantro
juice of 1/2 lime
Thinly sliced scallions, for garnish
Sour cream, for garnish
Grated cheddar, for garnish

Put the bacon into a large heavy pot and place it over medium heat. Cook until it starts to give up its fat, about 4 minutes. Stir in the onions and cook, stirring, until they start to turn translucent, about 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until you can smell it, about 1 minute. Add the broth, tomatoes, ketchup, Worcestershire, and chili powder. Stir in the beans, turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Adjust the heat so the soup is bubbling gently and cook 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, pick off all the thick stems from the cilantro. Wash it and shake dry. Chop the cilantro coarsely and stir it into the soup when it has been simmering 10 minutes. cook until the soup is thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the lime juice. Serve with the garnishes.

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