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Black Bean Soup

Yield: ten portions, 1 cup each


Bean Soup
12 oz. dried black beans (not canned, these are higher in sodium than the dried beans)
2 qt. chicken or vegetable stock - use vegetable stock for a vegetarian option
1 each lemon, sliced thick
1/2 oz. bacon, diced
3 oz. onion, minced
2 each garlic cloves, minced
1/8 tsp. cumin seed, whole
1/2 oz. chilies, dried, mild flavor
1 tsp. jalapeno, fresh, seeded, chopped
1 oz. sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 oz. sherry wine vinegar
2 oz. sherry, dry

Fromage Blanc
1/2 c. low fat ricotta
1 Tbsp. low fat yogurt, plain
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Bean Soup procedure:
Special Note: Use your own homemade stocks to ensure a lower sodium product. Foods have their own natural-occurring sodium, some more than others. We can cook without adding additional table salt. Season with herbs, spices, and some sauces (read your labels) instead of table salt.

Soak the beans overnight in enough cold water to cover by 2 inches. Drain the beans, and then simmer them in the stock. Add sliced lemon and simmer until beans are tender. Cook bacon until crisp and fat is rendered out.

Add onion, garlic and cumin. Saut้ until mixture is translucent and has a good aroma. Once beans are tender add onion mixture, dried chilies, jalapeno, tomatoes, oregano, and salt. Simmer an additional 15 minutes. Remove the lemon slices.

Puree about one-third of the beans and add the puree back to the soup. Add the sherry and the sherry vinegar.

Reheat soup to a simmer and serve hot. Top with low fat Fromage Blanc.

Fromage Blanc procedure:
Whip in a food processor and refrigerate overnight. Use in place of sour cream. You can add chives, garlic, fresh herbs to flavor as well.

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