THE BEST BLACK BEAN CHILI

I have tried several different recipes for black bean chili, but my favorite comes from a cookbook called Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon.  It is so simple that it is ridiculous, but sometimes simple is best.  I made this on Sunday night and we ate by the fire.  The salad was very delicious...goat cheese, toasted pine nuts and avocado with my homemade vinaigrette.  It was healthy and sooo tasty, and the leftovers are even better.  I forgot to buy cilantro, but it would have been prettier with a little garnish of chopped cilantro.

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BLACK BEAN SOUP

2 medium onions, peeled and coarsely chopped

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

4 cups cooked black beans (canned is fine) with bean juice

1 quart chicken or vegetable broth

1/2 cup sherry (this is the secret ingredient)

4 cloves garlic, peeled and mashed

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

sour cream and chopped cilantro for garnish

Saute onions in olive oil (I used a little butter also) until tender.  Add beans, sherry and broth, bring to a boil and skim.  Add cumin, oregano, garlic and chile flakes and simmer about 15 minutes.  Puree soup with a handheld blender (I like this one from Williams Sonoma).  Reheat and add lime juice.  Season to taste.  Ladle into heated bowls and serve with sour cream and cilantro.

If you don't have a handheld mixer, I highly recommend getting one.  It makes soup making so much easier!

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