Caribbean black bean soup

Yield: 8 Servings

Measure Ingredient
4 cloves garlic, minced

8 oz black beans, washed and soaked overnight 7 c low-sodium chicken stock, or water (7-8 cups) ½ c flat beer

¾ c dark rum

2 md onions, diced

2 tb butter or margarine

1 c celery, finely chopped

1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced 1 to 2 chili peppers, seeded and minced 2 lg carrots, peeled and diced

½ c canned crushed tomatoes

1½ Tbs. ground cumin

1 ts red hot sauce

½ tb chile powder

½ ts freshly ground black pepper ½ ts salt

¼ ts cayenne pepper

1 tb fresh cilantro, minced Drain the black beans and combine in a heavy saucepan with the stock, beer, rum, garlic and half of the onions. Bring to simmer. Cook for 1 to 1 ½ hours over low heat, stirring occasionally. If the stock evaporates too quickly, reduce the heat, add up to 2 cups of hot water and continue simmering. Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the remaining onions, plus the celery, peppers and carrots. Saute over medium heat until the vegetables are soft but not mushy, 5 to 7 minutes. Set aside. When the beans are soft, puree half of the mixture in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Return the puree to the saucepan and add the sauteed vegetables, crushed tomatoes and seasonings. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a little hot water or rum if it is too thick, or continue to simmer if it is too thin. Serve at once with a dollop of yogurt or sour cream.

Freezes well.

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