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Mollie Katzen's Moosewood "Brazilian Black Bean Soup"

Mollie Katzen's Moosewood "Brazilian Black Bean Soup"

This is one of my favorite cheap comfort foods that's healthy too. If you don't have the Moosewood cookbook in your collection, I highly recommend that you run out and pick it up at a used book store immediately! It's filled with easy, healthy meals.

This soup is easy to make and you might even have most of the ingredients in your pantry now. The secret ingredient that really makes it special is the orange juice. I usually squeeze my own juice because it's cheaper - and sugar free... and then add the chunks of orange to the soup.

Serves 6-8

Mollie Katzen's Moosewood "Brazilian Black Bean Soup"

Ingredients

• 2 cups black beans
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 2 cups onions, chopped (about 1.5 large onions)
• 10 medium garlic cloves, crushed
• 2 tablespoons cumin
• 2-2 1/2 teaspoons salt
• 1 medium carrot, diced
• 1 medium bell pepper, diced
• 1 1/2 cups orange juice (squeeze your own, and then add the chunks of orange to the soup for extra texture and sweetness)
• black pepper
• cayenne
• 2 diced tomatoes (optional)
• sour cream (optional)
• cilantro (optional)
• salsa (optional)

Directions

1 Soak beans in plenty of water for at least 4 hours (preferably overnight). -- I just use cans of black beans if i'm in a hurry --
2 Place the soaked beans in a kettle or dutch oven with 4 cups water. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer until tender (about 1.25 hours). -- with the canned beans you don't have to deal with this... more expensive, but again, if you're in a hurry --
3Heat olive oil in a medium sized skillet. Add chopped onion, 5 crushed cloves garlic, cumin, salt, and carrot.
4 Saute over medium heat until the carrot is just tender. Add the rest of the crushed garlic and diced bell pepper. Saute until everything is very tender (10-15 mins). Add the sauteed mixture to the beans, scraping out every last morsel.
5 Stir in orange juice, black pepper and cayenne to taste, and diced tomatoes (optional).
6 Puree all or some of the soup in a blender and return to kettle. Simmer over very low heat 10-15 mins more. Serve topped with an artful arrangement of sour cream, cilantro and salsa.

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