1 cup dried pinto beans, washed, covered with water and soaked at least 2 hours (preferably overnight)
5 cups cold water
1/2 tsp salt
3 slices bacon, diced
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 large ripe tomato, peeled, seeded, diced
3 1/2 cups low-fat chicken broth
1 tsp Tabasco sauce
2 tbsp uncooked whole-wheat elbow macaroni
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Drain beans and rinse in a colander under running water; place in a Dutch oven.
Add the cold water and salt to the beans and heat to boiling; lower heat, cover and simmer for 2-3 hours until beans are tender.
Combine 1 cup of the cooked beans with 1 cup of their liquid in a blender container or a food processor; process until smooth and set aside.
Cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crispy. Drain off drippings, reserving 1 tablespoon.
Add the onion and garlic to the bacon and reserved drippings and saute until tender; add the tomato and cook another minute. Transfer mixture to the Dutch oven with the remaining beans and liquid. Add the chicken broth and Tabasco sauce; bring to a boil
Add the macaroni to the Dutch oven; turn down the heat to a slow boil and cook 7 to 10 minutes until macaroni is tender.
Add the cilantro just before serving.
Yield: 8 servings