*  Exported from  MasterCook  *
 
                           Hearty Black Bean Soup
 
 Recipe By     : the California Culinary Academy
 Serving Size  : 5    Preparation Time :0:45
 Categories    : Microwave                        Soups & Stews
 
   Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
 --------  ------------  --------------------------------
    2      tablespoons   oil
    3      medium        onions -- chopped
    4      cloves        garlic -- minced
   48      ounces        canned black beans (frijoles negros) --
 drained and rinsed
    1      tablespoon    fresh oregano -- finely chopped
      1/2  teaspoon      ground cumin -- or to taste
      1/2  teaspoon      fresh thyme -- finely chopped
    1                    bay leaf
    2      cups          cubed ham -- cooked
    2      cups          chicken stock
      1/4  cup           dry sherry
   16      ounces        canned whole tomatoes -- drained & chopped
      1/4  cup           fresh tomatoes -- peeled and chopped
                         salt and freshly ground pepper -- to taste
                         ACCOMPANIMENTS:
                         fresh lime or lemon wedges
                         sour cream
                         radishes -- thinly sliced
                         green onions -- sliced
                         cilantro leaves
                         chile salsa
 
 In a wide-bottomed, large saucepan over medium heat, heat oil. Add
 onions and cook until soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1
 minute longer. Stir in beans, oregano, cumin, thyme, bay leaf, ham,
 stock, sherry, and tomatoes.
 
 Increase heat and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer,
 uncovered, about 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt, if necessary,
 and pepper.  Serve soup with your choice of accompaniments, or 
 cool to room temperature and refrigerate or freeze.
 
 Makes about 7 cups.
 
 * Timesaver Tip: Soup can be made up to 2 days ahead, covered, and
 refrigerated, or it can be frozen. To freeze, spoon soup into one
 large or several smaller individual freezer containers. Cover, label,
 and freeze at 0 degrees F up to 1 month. To serve, defrost soup 15 to
 20 minutes on Defrost setting of microwave, or thaw in refrigerator 8
 to 24 hours. Gently warm soup in a saucepan or microwave at 50% power
 until it is warmed through. Stir several times both during defrosting
 and during reheating.
 
 Microwave Version
 
 Put oil in a 2-quart casserole and microwave on 70% power 45 seconds.
 Add onions and microwave another 3 minutes, until onions are soft. Add
 garlic and microwave a minute longer. Complete step 2 as directed
 above. Cover casserole with waxed paper or loosely 
 with plastic wrap and microwave, still on 70% power, 30 minutes.
 Season to taste and proceed with step 4 as directed above. Preparation
 time and timesaver tip same as above.
 
                    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
 
 NOTES : This sturdy soup contains ham and tomatoes in addition to the
 beans, plus savory herbs and an enlivening touch of sherry. Add crusty
 rolls, a salad of fresh greens, and a beverage, and you have a meal.
 Nutr. Assoc. : 0 0 0 156 0 0 0 0 3653 0 0 2470 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0