2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups chopped red onion
1 4-ounce can diced green chilies
1 tablespoon chopped jalapeno pepper, including seeds
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 15-ounce cans black beans with their broth
2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
6 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, plus 2 tablespoons for finishing
Salt and pepper to taste
4 lime wedges
Crumbled goat cheese if desired

[Note: If the heat seems too much, you may prepare the soup with mild green chilies and omit the jalapeno seeds.]

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat.

When it starts to shimmer, toss in the onion, green chilies and jalapeno.

Saute for about 4 minutes and add the garlic.

Brown for 1 minute more and stir in the cumin.

Add the beans and chicken or vegetable broth and bring to a boil.

After reducing the heat to medium-low, cover the soup and allow it to gently simmer for about 15 minutes.

Carefully puree all but 1 cup of the soup in a blender, working in batches. Return the puree to the pot and stir in 6 tablespoons of the cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into 4 bowls, garnish with the remaining cilantro and serve with a generous squeeze of lime. If you like, sprinkle each portion with 1 tablespoon of crumbled goat cheese. Salad and pita wedges are nice accompaniments.

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March 4, 2017