Last updated: October 15. 2013 9:46AM - 788 Views
Kim Reid Contributing columnist



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As the temperature starts to drop, we all start thinking about easy ways to make a warm comforting dinner, and what better way than with a crock-pot. It’s the perfect time of year to simply fill your slow cooker with your ingredients in the morning, and by the time you get home from work, dinner is ready to be served! Here are some of the best healthy, hearty, and delicious slow cooker recipes you’ve got to try.


Chipotle Black


Bean Soup


Yield: 6 servings


1 tablespoon olive oil


2 medium-size red onions, chopped


1 medium-size red bell pepper, chopped


1 medium-size green bell pepper, chopped


4 garlic cloves, minced


4 teaspoons ground cumin


1 16-ounce package dried black beans


1 tablespoon chopped chipotle chilies from a can (use less if you prefer less heat or use green chilies)


7 cups hot water


2 tablespoons fresh lime juice


2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt


1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


Optional toppings:


sour cream


Greek yogurt


avocado


Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and both bell peppers and sauté until beginning to brown, about eight minutes. Add garlic and cumin; stir one minute. Transfer mixture to 6-quart slow cooker. Add beans and chipotles, then 7 cups hot water. Cover and cook on high until beans are very tender, about 3 hours, but longer if necessary. [See note up top.]


Transfer four cups bean mixture to blender; puree until smooth. Return puree to remaining soup in slow cooker. Stir in lime juice, salt, and pepper. Adjust seasonings to taste. Ladle soup into bowls. Serve with desired toppings. Each serving contains: 314 calories; 4 g total fat; 1 g saturated fat; 1 mg cholesterol; 18 g fiber.


For more information, contact Kim Reid, Extension Agent with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service at 910-592-7161.

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