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Low Fat Black Bean Soup

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Recipe by: Chef John V.
History: This is a recipe that you can substitute any type of dried peas, lentils or beans for a different type of soup.
Serving size: 6
Preparation time: about 2 hours, cooking time may vary with the type of dried legume you use.


2 red peppers, diced fine
1 yellow pepper, diced fine
1 large onion, diced fine
1 stalk celery, diced fine
1 leek, diced fine
1 medium carrot, diced fine
3 cloves garlic -- minced
2 teaspoons salt or to taste
1 teaspoon ground black pepper or to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil, (you may use another type of oil or even less if you wish)
1 cup crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon oregano, (when making pea or white bean soup use fresh or dried thyme)
2 teaspoons chili powder, (use only in black bean soup)
1 bay leaf
4 quarts chicken stock
2 bags of dried black beans, (16 ounce), picked of possible pebbles and soaked overnight covered with water.


Dice all the vegetables into small pieces. In a large, heavy-bottomed soup pot heat the olive oil over medium heat; add all the vegetables and saute until tender; stirring often, about 15 minutes, (do not brown). Add the chicken stock and the remaining ingredients, including the now drained black beans. Bring to a boil and cook until tender or about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, Take off the heat, remove the bay leaf, and puree 1/2 of the soup in a food processor, returning it to the soup pot. This will help thicken the soup. Be careful its very hot and could burn you if you're splashed on. Note* You may want to puree it all or not at all---it's up to you. Return to the stove an re-heat, check the seasoning, adjust if necessary, with more salt and pepper, just prior to serving. As the soup coks you may add water to keep a even consistency.

With pea or lentil soup you may leave out or substitute for the peppers. You may even choose to add 1 quart of diced potatoes to the soup 1/2 hour prior to the soup being cooked. Pre-cooking the potatoes is also possible.

This soup is good with crusty bread and lots of fresh salad.