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Black Bean Soup
By Susan Nye

Serves 8-12

1 large onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
4 stalks celery, finely chopped
3 carrots, finely chopped
1 tablespoon minced jalapeño pepper or to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon dried chipotle chili pepper flakes or to taste
2 (15-16 ounce each) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped or 1 teaspoon dry
1/2 tablespoon fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dry
1 bay leaf
4 quarts chicken stock
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
Olive oil

Heat a little olive oil in a soup kettle; add the onion, garlic, bell pepper,
jalapeño pepper, celery and carrots; sprinkle with cumin, pepper flakes, salt
and pepper. Cook over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, until the vegetables
are tender.  

Add the beans, tomatoes, chicken, chicken stock, wine, sage, thyme and bay
leaf to the soup pot; bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes or until the
chicken is cooked through.

Remove the chicken from the pot, when it has cooled enough to handle, shred
the chicken into bite sized pieces and add back to the soup. Add the corn
kernels and heat until steaming. Serve.

The soup is even better if made ahead. It can be made 2-3 days ahead; let it
cool a bit and then refrigerate covered. Reheat over medium-high heat until
steaming and serve.
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