Smoky Black Bean Soup made Even Better

It never ceases to amaze me how one tiny change in a recipe can make a world of difference. Last week I gave you Smoky Black Bean and Corn Soup and it was yummy-good. The original recipe cooked up enough soup for my family to have two meals. It was also the perfect excuse to tinker around a bit. By adding 1 pouch of Uncle Ben’s Quick Roasted Chicken Rice (90 seconds in the microwave – that’s quick) to the soup, it knocked this already wonderful recipe right out of the ball park. Wow! What an amazing difference . . . hope you enjoy this simple little change.

Smoky Black Bean Soup with Corn and Rice
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Orange Bell Pepper, cored and diced
2 celery stalks, finely diced
1/2 Onion, finely chopped
4 Smoked Chicken Sausages, fully cooked
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 pinch Cayenne Pepper
3 cans Chicken Broth
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes with juices
1 can (14 oz) corn, drained
1 Package Uncle Ben’s Quick Rice – Roasted Chicken
Sea Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste

Coin cut smoked Chicken Sausage. Set aside until ready to use.

In a heavy pot over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the bell peppers, celery and onion and sauté until the onion is tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the sausage and sauté until browned, about 2 minutes.

Add 3 cans of chicken broth. Season with the cumin, smoked paprika and a pinch of cayenne pepper.

Empty 1 can drained, rinsed black beans. Add tomatoes and corn. Stir and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper.

Lower heat to simmer. Let soup simmer gently for 20 minutes. Soup is now ready to serve. If desired, soup can continue to summer as much as 45 minutes. If too much liquid evaporates, thin soup with additional chicken broth.

Ten minutes before serving, zap Uncle Ben’s Quick Rice in the microwave; add to simmering soup and give everything a nice stir.

When ready to serve, ladle into warmed soup bowls. Remember to scoop all the way down to the bottom of the pot so that each bowl has a nice helping of sausage and vegetables.

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