Southwestern Black Bean Soup
Serve with baked tortilla chips and a green salad.

Serves: 6

• 1 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 3/4 cup diced white onion
• 3/4 cup diced celery
• 1/2 cup diced carrot
• 1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
• 2 tablespoons minced garlic
• 4 - 15 ounce cans black beans
• 4 cups chicken stock
• 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
• 2 teaspoons chili powder
• 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon cumin
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon hickory liquid smoke
Garnishes:
• Shredded reduced fat monterey jack and and/orreduced fat cheddar cheese
• Chopped green onion
• Fat free sour cream

Heat 1 tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan over medium/low heat. Add onion, celery, carrot, bell pepper, and garlic to the oil and simmer slowly (or"sweat" as it's called), for 15 minutes or until the onions are practically clear. Keep the heat low enough that the veggies don't brown and be careful not to burn the garlic or it will be bitter.

While you cook the veggies, pour the canned beans into a strainer and rinse them under cold water.

Measure 3 cups of the drained and strained beans into a food processor with 1 cup of chicken stock. Puree on high speed until smooth.

When the veggies are ready, pour the pureed beans, the whole beans, the rest of the chicken stock, and every other ingredient in the list (down to liquid smoke), to the pot. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 50 to 60 minutes or until soup has thickened and all the ingredients are tender.

Per Serving: (Does not include garnishes) 310 Calories; 6g Fat (16.9% calories from fat); 1g Saturated Fat; 19g Protein; 43g Carbohydrate; 17g Dietary Fiber; trace Cholesterol; 1586mg Sodium. Exchanges: 2 1/2 Grain(Starch); 1 1/2 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

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