Oh how I hate it that summer is over. This one went way too fast! We just finished the last of the beefsteak tomatoes that my folks had an overabundance of. I've never seen tomatoes so large before! We used them up in salads, mixed with cucumbers and lite Italian dressing. Ah, summer....

Towards the end of summer, right about when school starts, people start getting the itch for fall though don't they? September comes around and out comes the sweaters, boots, and pumpkin spice everything! People are Pinning soups and stews, crock pot meals, and all of those ooey gooey comfort food style dishes. GAH!

Well, There are definitely plenty of those warm, soothing, soul warming recipes for those of us following The 17 day diet (or other healthy eating programs).

I stumbled across a black bean soup recipe a couple of years ago and modified it a bit. It's healthy and filling. Also a good source of fiber! We used to eat this served over rice, with large chunks of french bread and butter.  You could still serve it over brown rice (if your on 17 day diet this would be great for lunch). However, we never have leftovers! My son usually goes back for seconds.

Black Bean Soup

3 cans seasoned black beans drained, not rinsed (you can use the kind with no salt but it will lack serious flavor, trust me.)

Half a carton of chicken stock (I use low sodium and prefer the organic)

One medium onion diced

1 clove of garlic (I buy the garlic that's pre-chopped, 1 tsp is usually equal to 1 clove)

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 tsp chili powder

1 tsp cumin

In a stock pot, add oil, onion and garlic on medium/high heat. Cook about 5 min until onions soften and become translucent. Sprinkle in the chili powder, cumin, and mix thoroughly. The smell will be wonderful and people will come into your kitchen to ask "what's cookin' mama?"

Next, you'll add the three cans of beans and the chicken stock. I sometimes add a tad more stock. If the soup thickens a bit too much. Bring to a simmer, set timer for 15 minutes and stir occasionally.

After 15 minutes, you can use an emulsion blender or, if you're like me, I just use a regular blender. I scoop about 3 cups of the soup into the blender and puree for a few seconds. Add the puree back to the stock pot and stir. Continue to heat for about 5 minutes on low.

To serve, you can and should (wink) top with 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese. As I said earlier, you can most definitely serve this over rice, Basmati or Jasmine is what we used to prefer but brown rice is just as nice.

I usually serve this soup with a nice side salad.

What kind of comfort foods have you successfully modified or do you have any good, healthy, fall recipes?

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