So, I'm off to a good start and I couldn't be happier with myself. Here's a recipe for the soup I had for dinner tonight:
TGI Friday's Black Bean Soup
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
3/4 c diced wiht onion
3/4 c diced celery
1/2 c diced carrot
1/4 c diced green bell pepper
2 Tbsp minced garlic (I use 3 large cloves)
4 15 oz cans black beans
4 c chicken broth
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp liquid hickory smoke (all I could find at my grocery stores was mesquite and it worked too...just might not taste like TGI Friday's, which I've never had anyway so I don't know the difference) :)
Garnish: shredded cheddar/monterey jack cheese blend and chopped green onion
1. Heat 2 Tbsp of oil in a large saucepan over medium/low heat. Add onion, celery, carrot, bell pepper, and garlic to the oil and simmer slowly (sweat) for 15 minutes or until the onions are practically clear. Keep the heat low enough that the veggies don't brown.
2. While you cook the veggies, pour the canned beans into a strainer and rinse them under cold water.
3. Measure 3 cups of the drained and rinsed beans into a food processor with 1 cup of chicken broth. Puree on high speed until smooth. (2 cans of beans is about 3 cups, so if you just drain/rinse 2 cans first, then you can puree those if you don't want to measure out the 3 cups)
4. When the veggies are ready, pour the pureed beans, the whole beans, the rest of the chicken broth, and every other ingredient in the list (down to the liquid smoke), to the pot. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 50 to 60 minutes or until soup has thickened and all the ingredients are tender. Serve the soup topped with a couple tablespoons of the cheese blen and a teaspoon or so of chopped green onion.
Makes 6 1 cup servings.
I was also thinking if you didn't want to puree the beans in a food processor you could use one of those immersible blenders (hand blender) and puree some of the soup right in the pot. I HATE having to wash my food processor and I'm thinking of buying one of those little blenders just for this soup...ok, I have other uses for it too, but I REALLY love this soup so I think I'd make it more often if I didn't have to use the food processor.
1 Cup of this soup has 6 WW PP values (be sure to recheck your ingredients as some may differ, these are the values for my particular brands). I added 1 oz of shredded cheedar cheese for an additional 3 PP. Also served with a piece of frozen garlic bread for 4 more PP. A nice, yummy, healthy, full of fiber AND protien dinner for 13 PP values. Not bad, eh? (no, I'm not Canadian)