By Jan Kenney

Bean good for the New Year

Seeing as how we are in the season of New Year’s resolutions and cold weather, it seem like a recipe (pun intended) for making up some hearty, healthy soups. A black bean soup is one of my favorites and simple to make – especially if you’re not averse to using canned beans.

I particularly like mine with some bites of kielbasa thrown in, but it is perfectly delicious in its vegetarian form. When I made it last week, I chose to pump up the vitamins by adding some of the vegetables that had been in the refrigerator’s crisper a little too long: a tomato, some shredded carrots and a couple of kale leaves. I also added 2 chipotle peppers (from a can) to spice it up a bit – and boy did they! Maybe only one next time.

Black Bean Soup

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 tablespoon ground cumin

2 -3 cloves garlic

2 (14 1/2 ounce) cans black beans

2 cups chicken broth or 2 cups vegetable broth

salt and pepper

1 small red onion, chopped fine

1⁄4 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped or finely chopped (whatever you prefer)

sour cream or plain greek yogurt

Saute onion in olive oil. When onion becomes translucent, add cumin. Cook 30 seconds, then add garlic and cook for another 30 to 60 seconds. Add 1 can black beans (either rinsed or not) and 2 cups vegetable broth. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.

Turn off heat. Using a hand blender, blend the ingredients in the pot or transfer to a blender.

Add the second can of beans to the pot along with blended ingredients and bring to a simmer. Add cooked kielbasa or other sausage, as well.

Garnish with a dollop of sour cream or plain greek yogurt, cilantro and red onion.

Can be doubled or frozen.