Fijada (Black Bean Soup)

1 16 oz. bag dried black beans (2 cups)
2 quarts water
1/2 Tbs. salt
1 6oz. can tomato paste
1 Large onion, chopped
2 to 3 large cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1/2 to 1 1/2 tsp. chili powder or red pepper powder (your preference)
1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1 Bay leaf
1/2 lb. light ham, 96% to 98% fat free, cubed
1/2 lb. low fat Chorizo or spicy Italian sausage, cooked and well drained of any fat
6 oz. light Polish kielbasa or smoked sausage 95% to 97% fat free, sliced in bite size pieces

1. Follow package directions for sorting and rinsing beans. Soak beans
overnight in 3-to-4 cups water; rinse and drain.

2. In 4-quart Dutch oven or stockpot, bring beans, water, salt, tomato paste,
onion, garlic, red pepper, chili powder, black pepper and bay leaf to boil over
medium-high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 1-to-2 hours, or until
beans are tender but still hold their shape.

3. Add ham, sausage and smoked sausage to beans and simmer for an additional
10-to-15 minutes until meats are heated through. Adjust seasonsing if
necessary and serve with hot French rolls made without added sugars or fats.
For a more substantial meal, serve beans over 1/2 cup white rice, cooked
without butter or salt.

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