From The Looneyspoons Collection. Every soup I have made from this book is a hit and appears frequently in my kitchen. They describe this as "Spicy", but with thoughtful use of the ingredients it need not be too spicy. Once all ingredients are prepped, this soup is done in less than half an hour.

2 tsp olive oil
1 cup each chopped onions, chopped red bell pepper, and chopped carrots
1 tsp minced garlic
1 jalapeño pepper seeded and minced

3 cups reduced sodium beef or vegetable broth
1 cup no salt added tomato sauce
2 cans no salt added black beans drained and rinsed
2 TB minced fresh cilantro
1 TB freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 TB brown sugar
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt 
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

6 TB light sour cream.

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions, red pepper, carrots, garlic, and jalapeno. Cook and stir for five minutes until vegetables begin to soften.

Add all remaining ingredients except sour cream. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer covered for 10 minutes. Purée as desired and serve with sour cream.

Notes and Tips...

  • Vegetables - I do rustic chop
  • Jalapeño - the heat comes mainly from the seeds, so if this is seeded, the soup has a little kick, but is not too spicy. If preference is for a spicy soup, some red pepper flakes would do the trick.
  • Sodium-reduced - The Podleski sisters focus a lot on healthy eating - no surprise that they suggest low sodium ingredients. Obviously the soup can be made with regular sodium products if that's all that's available - but then take care with additional seasoning. The Blue Menu brand of beans are sodium-reduced.
  • Purée - the sisters always outline a method of, working in batches, transferring all or some of the soup to a food processor or blender. I never do that and instead use my hand-held impression blender. I purée just enough to add some body to the broth, but leave a chunky texture.
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