Jan 28, 2011---Black Bean Soup....and other (inexpensive) Deliciousness!

So...I tagged this as "almost vegetarian" because I suppose you could take out the bacon.  Seeing as everything is better with bacon, this meal made eating-in very easy (and uber-affordable).

One of my gal-pals over at Kitschen Feast suggested using this recipe from Dave Lieberman for Black Bean Soup.

For better or for worse, here is my altered version (as I'm coming to realize I alter 96% of my recipes).**

4 cups Black beans (do it cheapy version and use 2 cups dried and bagged version....just be sure to cook the beans before you add to the recipe) (reserve the cooking water)
10 strips of bacon ***
1 cup of fresh cilantro
1/2 onion
2 T ketchup
A few shakes or Worcestestersterieisties sauce
6 garlic cloves
1 1/2 cup tomatoes
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp cumin
Green onion (for garnish)
Sour Cream (just a dollop for garnish)
Shredded Cheese (just a sprinkling...for garnish)
Poached Egg (for added richness....if you don't think the bacon is enough)****

1.  Cook beans (remove cooking water)
2.  While bacon is cooking, you can do the following:  Chop and shred remaining ingredients...AND cook in cook onion and garlic til clear, add rest of spices and ingredients (except garnishes)....let simmer for 7 mins
3.  Marry 1 and 2
4.  Add cooking water as necessary, mash beans a little with potato masher) and let simmer til you can't stand it anymore (Mine was for a whole 10 mins)

So overall, dinner took 30 mins...and the cost was soooooo little.   With some deviation due to error, I estimated that our dinner cost 4.26....for our whole family (and then some).

**I altered this recipe primarily because, as a whole, my family has a very delicate palate.  We enjoy seasoning, but not hot spice.

***Easiest way I've found to cook bacon (and not have to actually tend it and get your stove-top all greasy) is to find your broiler pan [place bacon on top slotted layer], crank your oven up to 400, and let it cook for 20 minutes.  Result=degreased crispy bacon (without having to slave over your stove)

****We did not add a poached egg to the recipe tonight, however in other black bean recipes I've used, I've added this and appreciated the addition...and it wasn't included in my cost analysis (however seeing as eggs are at most .20 [for the type I buy]...this would add a whopping 1.20)



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