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BLACK BEAN SOUP 
2 c. dried black beans, soaked overnight in 8 c. of water
1 bay leaf
3 tbsp. butter or oil
2 onions, chopped
2 stalks celery, sliced
2 carrots, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. cumin seed (scant)
1/2 tsp. oregano
4 c. tomato juice

Bring beans, water, and bay leaf to a boil in a large kettle. Lower the heat and simmer until the beans are soft - a full hour. Do not add salt until after the soup is done. The beans get tough if you do. Meanwhile, heat the butter or oil in a large skillet, and add the onions, celery, carrots, and garlic. Stew over low heat for 10 minutes or until tender. When the beans are soft; add the vegetables to the kettle, along with the lemon juice, cumin, oregano, and tomato juice. Bring to a boil. Discard the bay leaf and serve.

Note: This black bean soup is absolutely delicious.

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