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Taste of Life: Black Bean Soup with Jalapeno Cream

By Hillary Gallagher

Black Bean Soup Ingredients
-1 lb. black beans
-3.5 quarts chicken stock or low-sodium broth
-1.5 lbs. tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and diced
-3 teaspoons ground cumin
-3 tablespoons cilantro, roughly chopped
-½ cup red, yellow, orange and/or green peppers, chopped
-1 jalapeño, minced
-2 teaspoons garlic, minced
-2 tablespoons olive oil
-1-2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
-Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

Jalapeño Cream Ingredients
-1 cup sour cream
-2 jalapeños, minced
-2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, chopped

Black Bean Soup Procedure
-Soak the beans overnight or for at least 4 hours.
-Drain, and put the beans in a pot with chicken stock (water for vegetarians).
-Simmer the beans for 1 hour, uncovered.
-Stir in the tomatoes and cumin, and cook for another half hour.
-Check the beans for doneness. When about ¾ cooked, add 1 or 2 tablespoons of kosher salt.
-While the beans are cooking, sauté the onions in the olive oil until translucent.
-Add the bell peppers and jalapeño, and continue to sauté for 5 minutes.
-Add the garlic, and sauté for another 2 minutes.
-Add the sautéed peppers and onions to the soup with the vinegar.
-Check the soup for seasoning, and add more salt and pepper as needed.
-The soup is done when the beans are soft.
-For a thicker soup, push some of the beans against the pot with a wooden spoon.
-Stir in the cilantro leaves, and top with *jalapeño sour cream.

*Jalapeño Sour Cream Procedure
-Combine all ingredients in a bowl.