Eastern Black Bean Soup

Eastern Black Bean Soup

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small dry red chili pepper, broken up
2 cups finely diced onions
2 large clov garlic, minced
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon pure chili powder
1 Spanish paprika
4 large ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded — (4 to 6)
salt, fresh ground black pepper
3 cups chicken stock
1 pound dry black beans, cooked, drained
3 cups bean cooking liquid
1 1/4 cups sour cream
4 tablespoons diced minced red onion

In a heavy 4 quart casserole heat the oil over low heat. Add the chili pepper, onion, and garlic and cook the mixture for about 6-8 minutes, or until the onion is very soft and lightly browned. Add the cumin, chili powder and paprika and stir well into the onion mixture. Add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper, and add the stock. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, covered for 20 minutes. In the work bowl of a food processor, process 1/2 cup of the cooked black beans until smooth.

Add the puree, the drained beans, and the bean cooking liquid to the casserole. Simmer the soup for an additional 10 minutes. While the soup is simmering, prepare the garnish. When the soup is done, correct the seasoning. If the soup is too thick, thin it with additional stock. Serve hot in individual soup bowls, garnished with a dollop of the sour cream and red onions and accompanied by a crusty loaf of bread.

Serves 6.

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