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What do you make with beans?

I’m constantly looking for meat substitutes. There are tons of articles on limiting red meat for health reasons, and sure, it’s more expensive than vegetables, but the truth: I just don’t like it. So whenever possible, I cook vegetarian meals and am much happier.

Because of this, I try to incorporate other protein into my diet, things like nuts and beans. What are your favorite bean recipes?

One of my favorite dinners is Black Bean Soup. This is a recipe I’ve created after playing with numerous other recipes from cookbooks and Web sites. It’s simple and satisfying and perfect with a whole-grain quesadilla on the side.

Black Bean Soup

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1-2 jalapenos, depending on how spicy you like it
  • 3 cans (14-ounce) of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste

Optional garnishes:

  • Shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Sour cream
  • Hot sauce

1. Heat olive oil in a large stock pot over medium high heat. Saute onion, garlic, carrots, and jalapenos until tender. Add black beans, chicken broth, and cumin. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and puree soup in a blender until smooth. Or you can use an immersion blender to puree in the pot.
3. Serve hot with the garnishes you prefer. If you are eating with quesadillas, be sure to dunk!

For other ideas, check out our Chili Recipes.

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