Spicy Black Bean Soup

(It was so good that I forgot to take a picture before I dug in.)

What you will need:
1 lb. Bag of dried black beans
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 jalapenos, seeded and diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 3/4 cups of vegetable broth
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon corn starch
salt and pepper (lots)

Corn tortillas
Olive oil
Red Onion
Sour Cream (or plain yogurt)

To prepare the soup:

Rinse your beans off in a strainer. Put them in a big pot and "quick soak" them. You do this by covering them with cold water by two inches. Bring them to a boil and cook them for two minutes. Remove them from the heat, put a lid on the pot and let them sit in the hot water for an hour.

After that, add more water to the pot, if necessary, so that the beans are covered by two inches of water again.

Throw in your onion and jalapeno.

Bring the beans to a boil and then turn the heat down enough to let them simmer rapidly for forty minutes. Set your timer.

When the timer goes off, add your broth, garlic and cumin. Then taste the broth and keep adding salt and pepper till it suits your taste.

Cook for twenty more minutes until the beans are soft.

Use that twenty minutes to set your table, chop up your fresh toppings, etc.

When the timer goes off again, transfer two cups of soup to a blender and add the cornstarch. Puree this and put it back into the pot. (This will thicken the soup). Stir and let the soup cook for another two or three minutes.

Add the lime juice, stir and serve the soup in bowls topped with chopped avocado, diced red onion, sour cream and fresh toasted tortillas strips. (See how to make corn tortilla strips below).

How to make tortillas strips:

Take a stack of half a dozen corn tortillas and cut them into strips with a pizza cutter. Use a deep bowl and toss them with a tablespoon or so of olive oil till they are all coated lightly. Cook them at 350 degrees on a baking sheet until they are crisping on the edges, the edges are turning up and turning gold.

(These are so good and they make the soup really fun, especially for the kids.)


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