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Santa Fe Black Bean Soup

1 T. vegetable oil
1 medium yellow onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 stalk celery, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/4 C. precooked bacon bits (not imitation)
1 T. minced garlic
1 1/2 t. crushed red pepper
1 1/2 T. chicken base (see Note)
1 T. chili powder
5 (15-oz.) cans black beans
3/4 C. bottled barbecue sauce
Salt and white pepper, to taste

In a large stock pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, celery and bacon bits, and saute 3 to 4 minutes until onion is translucent. Add garlic, red pepper, chicken base and chili powder, and saute 2 to 3 minutes to infuse flavor. Add beans and barbecue sauce, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally; add water if necessary to maintain consistency. Adjust seasoning with salt and white pepper.

Note: Chicken base is available in grocery stores, near the soup section.

Makes 12 servings.


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