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Mexican Low-fat Pinto Beans (Bean Soup)

4 cups water
1 pound dried pinto beans -- 2 cups
1 medium onion -- chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic -- from jar
or 4 cloves fresh
1/2 teaspoon salt -- optional
(or low-sodium salt)
1 teaspoon cumin seed -- ground
1 can tomatoes with green chilis -- (Ro-tel)

Soak beans overnight. Mix water, beans, and onion in a 4-quart Dutch oven. Cover and heat to boiling; boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 1 hour. Add just enough water to cover beans. Stir in remaining ingredients. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender, about 2 hours. Add water during cooking if necessary. Serve with rice as a meal or in bowls as Bean Soup.

For slow cooker: soak and boil as directed. Combine ingredients in slow cooker (don't add extra water). Cook on low for 9 hours or high for 2 hours and low for 4-5 hours. These are great leftover and can be mashed for "refried" beans. Add less water for less soupy consistency.

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