Black Bean Soup

Makes about 9 cups

Another total favorite from "Laurel's Kitchen," by Laurel Robertson et al.

1 1/2 cup black beans
6 cups water

1 onion, chopped
2 tbsp. oil
2 cloves garlic
2 celery stalks
1 potato
1 carrot
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. savory
2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper

1 lemon, juiced

Wash the beans and put them in a saucepan along with the water. Cover loosely, bring to a boil, and simmer for 2 1/2 hours or so, until the beans are quite tender.

Meantime, chop the onion and saute in the oil with garlic until soft. Crush the garlic. Chop the celery, including the leaves. Dice potato and carrot (no need to peel them). Add celery, potato and carrot to onion and heat for several minutes, stirring all the while.

Add the vegetables to the beans, along with the seasonings, in the last hour of their cooking. Bring the soup to a boil and lower the heat to simmer until the beans and vegetables are done.

Stir in the lemon juice just before serving.