Kick the flavor of the Mexican-style soup up a notch with a sprinkling of cilantro and a squirt of lime juice.
2 cups dry pinto beans
5 cups cold water
2 14-ounce cans vegetable broth
1/2 cup water
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1 14-1/2-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
Shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese (optional)
Snipped fresh cilantro and/or sliced green onions (optional)
crackers or tortilla chips/strips (optional)
Rinse dry beans. In a Dutch oven combine rinsed beans and the 5 cups cold water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 1 hour. Drain and rinse beans.
In a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker combine beans, broth, the 1/2 cup water, the onion, garlic, cumin, cayenne pepper and oregano.
Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 8 to 10 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 to 5 hours.
Stir in undrained tomatoes; cover and cook for 30 minutes more. If desired, partially mash mixture with a potato masher, leaving soup chunky. If desired, top individual servings with cheese and cilantro and serve with crackers or tortilla chips/strips.
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