Soak: 4 c black beans in 12 cups water Simmer 2-3 hours with: 4 large whole onions 6 whole carrots 6 whole stalks of celery 1/2 head of garlic, whole cloves peeled 2 heaping tablespoons of cumin 1 heaping tablespoon of chili powder Lots of ground black pepper When the beans are nice and soft, add: A heaping tablespoon of salt Then, fish the the (soft) cooked veggies out into a bowl and purée them in a food processor. Stir this smooth mixture back into the soup. This way the soup has all your protein and veggies for a meal in one bowl. Add cayenne if you like it spicier. Serve with slices of polenta, fried in olive oil and butter.