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Cheese-topped Bean Soup

1/4 c Dried black beans
1/4 c Dried black-eyed peas
1/4 c Dried lentils
1/4 c Dried Great Northern beans
1/4 c Dried red beans
1/4 c Dried pinto beans
6 c Water
3/4 c Finely chopped onions
1/2 c Finely chopped celery
1/2 c Chopped carrot
1/4 t Salt
1/4 t Ground pepper
1 cn Crushed tomatoes (28 ounces, undrained)
2 ea Cloves garlic, minced
1/3 c Chopped fresh parsley
1 T Chili powder
2 T Lemon juice
ds Hot sauce
1 c Shredded Monterey Jack cheese (4 ounces)

Sort and wash the beans. Place them in a large, non-aluminum Dutch oven. Add water to cover by 2 inches and bring to a boil. Cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover, and let stand for 1 hour. Drain the beans and return to the pot. Add 6 cups of water, the onion, celery, carrot, salt, pepper, tomatoes and garlic. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 2 hours or just until the beans are tender. Stir in the parsley, chili powder, lemon juice and hot sauce. Cook, uncovered, for an additional 15 minutes. Ladle the soup onto individual soup bowl and top with the cheese.

Makes 3 quarts (serving size: 1 1/2 cups spoup and 2 tablespoons cheese).

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