Bush’s Beans proves that you don’t need fat nor oil to enjoy good tasting baked beans, and you don’t need it in a soup either!

Makes 7-1/2 cups

15.25 oz. can whole kernel corn including liquid

28 oz. can Dei Fratelli Fire Roasted Crushed Tomatoes (substitute diced or petite diced if you need to)

16 oz. can Fat-Free Bush’s Vegetarian Baked Beans

1-1/2 c. froz. mixed vegetables (lima bean, carrot, green bean, corn, pea)

1-1/2 c. carrot juice

1/4 c. red wine vinegar

1/4 c. tomato paste

2 t. garlic powder

1 t. onion powder

1 t. mild curry powder

1 t. turmeric

1 t. ground fennel seed

1 t. dried basil, crushed

1/2 t. celery seed

1/4 t. ground allspice

1 T. liquid smoke

1 t. pink Himalayan salt plus to taste

light sprinkling of red cayenne pepper

fresh grind black pepper to taste

1 t. xanthan gum

Balsamic vinegar as garnish (optional)

In large saucepan, over medium heat, combine all ingredients except xanthan gum and Balsamic vinegar. Stir well. Bring to soft boil, reduce heat to low and cook 20 minutes, uncovered, stirring as needed.

Add xanthan gum, whisking rapidly till completely dissolved and soup thickens. Cook 15 minutes longer, stirring as needed. Adjust for salt and pepper (it will need more salt).

Serve now or reserve for service later.

Notes: If you have leftover soup the next day and it becomes too thick, then thin with a little carrot juice, tomato juice or water to desired consistency.

I like to drizzle a little Balsamic vinegar onto my soup just before eating. It adds another dimension that heightens the richness of the dish. Positive health effects of Balsamic vinegar abound on the internet. since it’s such a good-tasting vinegar and adds flavor depth and intensity to many foods, I’m using it more frequently as a staple condiment I add to the dish after it’s served. Like Asians use soy sauce on everything, so it goes pretty much for me with Balsamic vinegar.

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