I love a hot, hearty soup on a cold, snowy winter day. I found an interesting low-fat recipe while browsing the Beacon Journal at lunch last Wednesday. I stopped at the grocery on the way home and bought the supplies and made it that evening. It was excellent. You would never suspect that it was low-fat, high fiber and good for you. As is typical for me, I altered the recipe slightly. I am noting my changes in () in the recipe.
REDUCED-FAT BLACK BEAN SOUP
2 large onions, chopped
5½ cups fat-free chicken broth (I used a 48 oz. can.)
6 cloves garlic, minced
1½ tbsp. ground cumin
1 jalapeno pepper, minced (I used about 8 of the pickled Jalapeño rings in a jar used for nachos. The soup had a little kick. Adjust this quantity to your taste.)
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. chipotle chili, canned in adobo sauce, finely minced. (This comes in a small can. I used ½ of the can – about ½ cup. If you haven’t used this product, it has a very southwest taste and isn’t hot.)
3 cans (14 oz. each) black beans (Rinsed – This removes about 1/3 of the sodium)
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the onions and enough chicken broth to keep the onions from burning. Cook, stirring and adding chicken broth as it evaporates. Cook about 10 minutes, or until very soft.
Add the garlic, cumin, jalapeno, salt and chipotle chili, and cook, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes. Add the rest of the chicken broth and black beans. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and stir occasionally for 30 minutes.
Allow to cool to room temperature and then puree in a blender in three or four batches. Pour into another pan as you puree each batch. Heat to the desired temperature before serving. Serve in bowls with toppings, if desired.
Optional toppings: fat-free sour cream, salsa, pico de gallo, chopped cilantro, chopped scallions, reduced-fat cheese, baked tortilla strips, whole cooked black beans
Original Nutritional Information: Makes 6 servings each containing about 205 calories, 2 grams fat, negligible cholesterol, 885 milligrams sodium, 32 grams carbohydrates, 21 grams protein, 12 grams fiber.