Cook's Corner

Published 5:26 am Wednesday, January 4, 2006

By Staff
This time of year calls for soup to warm the home and the body. I usually try to put some ingredients in a crock pot and let it simmer throughout the day for a hearty meal at supper time.
These recipes all feature black beans, which make for very tasty soups.
Black Bean Salsa Soup
2 tbsp. butter
One-half cup chopped carrots
One-half cup chopped celery
One-half cup chopped onion
1 (48 fluid ounce) can chicken broth
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chile peppers
3 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
One-fourth cup cooking sherry
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. ground cumin
one-half tsp. ground cayenne pepper
salt to taste
One-half cup chopped fresh cilantro
Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the carrots, celery, and onion, and cook 15 minutes. Pour in chicken broth. Mix in diced tomatoes with green chili peppers, black beans, sherry, and garlic. Season with cumin, cayenne pepper, and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer 20 minutes. Mix in cilantro during last few minutes of cook time.
This next recipe is a little more spicy. You can choose to add a few hot peppers to this one to give it a little kick.
Southwestern Black Bean Stew
1 pound ground beef
1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, undrained
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 and one-half cups water
One-half cup sour cream
2 (8 ounce) packages shredded Cheddar cheese
In a large skillet over medium high heat, saute the ground beef and drain the excess fat. Add taco seasoning, and stir. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
In a slow cooker over low heat, combine the corn, beans, tomato paste and water. Mix well. Add the seasoned meat and the sour cream. Raise heat to high setting and simmer for 20 minutes. Pour into individual bowls and garnish with shredded cheddar cheese.
If you have discovered that you like black beans, try substituting the beans in your favorite recipe with these black beauties. I have a recipe for a taco soup that is out of this world. It calls for a couple of cans of kidney beans and a couple of cans of black beans. Now when I prepare this recipe, I use black beans only.
Give this one a try - I'll bet you'll agree that the black beans offer a little more kick than plain kidney beans.
Taco Soup
1 pound lean ground beef
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans
2 (15 ounce) cans kidney beans
2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
6 ounces tomato sauce
1 onion, finely diced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
1 (1 ounce) package ranch dressing mix
In a medium sized stock pot, brown ground beef in oil. Add undrained black beans, undrained kidney beans, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, onion, green bell pepper, taco seasoning mix and ranch salad dressing mix. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until heated through.
Until next week, Happy Cooking!!!

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