For novice cookers, a black bean soup recipe that's easy to make and tastes great.

Four ingredients. Blend. Heat. That's it, you're done.

If you can open cans and push a button, you can make this satisfying soup with a complex flavor profile that belies the ease of preparation.


My sister Roxann served this as a first course for a Southwest-themed dinner party. It was a smash hit. And if gourmet flavor and style isn't enough, the soup is rich in protein and nearly fat-free.


ROXANN'S BLACK BEAN SOUP


1 can black beans, drained and rinsed


3/4 to 1 cup beef broth


1/2 cup salsa


1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cumin


Blend all ingredients in food processor or blender until smooth. Pour into pan and heat to a simmer. Yields 2 servings.


Optional: Serve topped with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of chopped green onions. Variation: Save about 1/3 of the beans to add to the purée in
the pot.