Sunday, December 7, 1997

Caribbean Black Bean Soup

8 ounces black beans, washed and soaked overnight
7 Cups low-sodium stock, or water (7-8 cups)
1/2 Cup flat beer
1/4 Cup dark rum
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium onions, diced
2 Tablespoons butter or margarine
1 Cups 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 large carrots, peeled and diced
1/2 Cup canned crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 Tablespoons ground cumin
1/2 Tablespoon chile powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro, minced
Yogurt or sour cream

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 1/2 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.

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