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Spicy Black Bean, Tomato and Butternut Soup


I tend to like the first few sips of black bean soup well enough, but more than that gets too "beany" for me. I came across a version that added more tomato than usual, which appealed to me. The addition of cubed butternut was a happy solution to my heavy hand with the chipotle chile powder, (a bit of a whoops! moment using the shake top instead of measuring out) which had made the soup explosive, even for my chile-head. The butternut's sweetness tamed the chile, and added more lightness. A winner! Let's see if I can replicate it now...

Spicy Black Bean, Tomato and Butternut Soup
At least 6-8 servings

Spray cooking oil
1 large onion, diced
1 sweet red pepper, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. chile powder or more
1 tsp. chipotle chile powder (or less to start with)
1 tsp, oregano
salt and pepper to taste
1 can Trader Joe's Cuban Black Beans
1 can unsalted black beans (or use 2 cans of any black beans)
1 can diced tomatoes with green chile
1 box low sodium chicken broth
2-3 cups water
2 cups small cubes of butternut squash
1/2 lime
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
sour cream or plain yogurt for garnish, or a sprinkle of cheddar.

Spray a large pot with oil. Saute the onion, pepper, and carrots until soft. Stir in the spices. Add the beans, tomato, broth, and 2 cups of water. Let simmer for an hour. Add the squash, and additional water if needed. When the squash is very tender, add a few squeezes of lime. Puree with immersion blender. Taste for seasonings, and adjust to your liking. Simmer a bit more to let flavors blend. Garnish with cilantro, sour cream or yogurt or cheddar.

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