Spicy Bean Soup

Spicy Winter satisfaction

2 8 oz cans   Beans (Black, Kidney, Pinto, etc.)
2   Bay Leaves
1 pinch   Salt
2 tbsp   Olive Oil
1   Onion, chopped
2   Celery sticks, chopped
4   Carrot sticks, chopped
3 cloves   Garlic, minced
0.5 cup   Red wine
1 tbsp   Tobasco sauce
2 L   Stock (Beef, Chicken, Vegetable)
1 tbsp   Cumin
1 tbsp   Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp   Oregano
1 tsp   Smoked Paprika
1 tbsp   Seasoning Salt
1 pinch   Salt
1 pinch   Black Pepper
1. Soak beans in boiling, salted water with bay leaves for about 20 minutes. Drain and discard bay leaves.

2. Heat oil in a large stockpan. Add carrots, celery, garlic and onion. Cook for about 10 minutes or until just softening. Add cumin, cayenne, oregano, smoked paprika (the smoked paprika really makes a subtle difference over the regular paprika) and seasoning salt. Stir well.

3. Add wine, tobasco sauce and stock and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 20 minutes. Puree soup in batches, in a food processor or blender, until smooth. Return to pot and heat throughout. Season to taste. Serve and garnish with a dollop of sour cream or plain yoghurt.

This is a spicy soup; if you want to reduce the heat, simply omit the tobasco sauce. It will still be delicious.