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Let me start off this post, by asking you all dear readers about Canned Food. How often do you buy canned food? Do you use it in your cooking often? What do you think about its nutrition value? 

Recently at work, some of our colleagues were discussing about canned food, fresh food, frozen food its benefits its ease of use of each of them etc. It was not a heated argument or anything like that, just casual conversation with exchanging information. Turns out many of them use it frequently and that too on a day to day basis in their cooking. 

I do not use canned food often even if it is organic; I prefer fresh food.  I agree 100% about the convenience, but what about the salt, sugar, and preservatives that goes into it? Also I cannot justify using the food that has been sitting on the shelves for more than 3 months, 6 months or even more than that. 

Now as far as frozen food is concerned, I have changed my outlook over a period of years. I do stock up on frozen stuff but mainly vegetables (not frozen cooked food though). This is in stark contrast to the time years ago when I did not use even frozen foods.  I remember years ago when we were looking for a new refrigerator, I recommended buying one that had the smallest freezer, as I felt that freezer space would be a waste of space.  Fast forward few years and we have the same refrigerator and lucky for me I am not running out of space in the freezer section.

Coming back to the recipe, I made this classic Black Bean soup using canned beans. Black beans are nutrition powerhouse, they are rich in protein and antioxidants, being high in fiber and they are cholesterol-lowering, heart-healthy food.  Since this is made using the canned black beans it is a breeze to put this together and the taste is just hearty and delicious. 

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Ingredients

 Note: Change the spices based on taste and preference. Be careful while adding the salt as the broth and canned beans have good amount of salt. 

  • 2 cans black bean
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup bell pepper chopped finely
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2  tsp ground cumin
  • Crushed/milled black pepper
  • Crushed tomatoes (optional)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • Water
  • Oil, salt

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Directions

  • Heat oil in a large pot. Add the garlic and then sauté onion, celery, and pepper for 5 minutes.
  • Now add chili powder, cumin, and black pepper mix well and cook for 1 minute. Stir in vegetable broth, 1.5 cans of beans and bring to a boil.
  • Meanwhile, puree the remaining 1/2 can beans in a blender along with little water until smooth.
  • Stir this to the boiling mixture, reduce heat to medium, and let it simmer for 15-20 more minutes.
  • Squeeze some lemon juice and cilantro leaves before serving. Eat hot! 
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