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Frijoles Colorados (Cuban Red Bean Soup)

10 cups of water (2 cups to be added)
1 pack (12 oz.) of red kidney beans, well rinsed (canned below)
3 tbsp. olive oil
2 inch cube of salt pork
3 garlic cloves
1 medium onion
1/4 green pepper
4 oz. tomato sauce
1 tbsp. salt

In Dutch oven, soak beans for 1 hour in 10 cups of water. Add 2 cups of water. Cook uncovered at medium-low heat until beans are tender (about 1-1/2 hours).

In blender or food processor, purée onion and green pepper together (add 1 or 2 Tbsp. of water if necessary). Set aside.

In a skillet, heat the oil on medium-high. Add the garlic cloves and sauté until browned. Discard. Add the onion/pepper mixture to the oil, stir and cook for 5 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for another 5 minutes until the sauce is a deep, rich red. This mixture is called sofrito.

Stir the sofrito into the beans. Add the salt and allow to simmer another 1/2 an hour or until tender.

Serve as a soup or over white rice.

Serves 6-8.

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