Hi, This recipe I didn't get from my family. It comes from Carol L Kirkland of Mandeville and is a family favourite. I found this recipe in a post-hurricane Katrina New Orlean's cook book entitled, "Cooking up a Storm", presented by The Times-Picayune and edited by Marcelle Bienvenu and Judy Walker. "As residents started to rebuild their lives, The Time-Picayune of New Orleans became a post hurricane swapping place for old recipes that were washed away in the storm. Marcelle Bienvenu and Judy Wlaker have compiled more than 225 of these delicious, authentic recipes along with the stories of how they came to be and waht they mean tot those who have searched so hard to find them again. Culled from the archives of the nwspaper, readers, and chefs, and local restaurants, these ricpes represent the very best of classic and contemporary New Orleans cuisine, from appetizers, soups, and salads to entrees, casseroles, and desserts...." Its a great cook book. Carol's bean soup and cilantro cream is a very taste combination of flavors and textures, doesn't take long to fix, with the spiciness of the soup cooled by the cilantro cream. I've made this soup several times since I've discovered this recipe. Its a good home cooked meal. I'd be interested in anyone's idea's of improving the dish, as good as it is. It calls for canned black beans, and having never cooked black beans from scratch, I wonder how it would differ with the beans cooked that way. The recipe states 'makes four servings', but I've only made the recipe doubled or trippled, and it doesn't feel like 8-12 servings. Big bowls, I guess. Carol's recipe: (makes 4 servings) 4 slices of bacon, chopped 1/2 cup of chopped onions (okay, I cheated and have added extra onions and bacon) 1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes (reconstituted, and I've used the juice in the soup. good stuff) 1 (15 oz) can black bean, drained and rinsed! 1 (14 oz) can chicken broth 1 large clove of garlic 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 1/4 teaspoon of hot sauce (I used Louisianna hot sauce, and it was perfect). 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro Cilantro cream: 1/4 cup sour cream 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro (I use more than called for) 1 teaspoon ground coriander Directions: Cook the bacon and onion in a large heavy pot over medium heat until the onion is tender (I've always used olive oil, but is there a technique that sears the bacon and uses the fat for the onions?). Drain off the excess fat. Add the tomatoes, beans, chicken broth, garlic, cumin, and hot sauce. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the cilantro leaves. Puree the mixture in a blender and return to the pot, or use an immersion blender to puree it in the pot. (I don't use either choices--to messy with immersion blender and I don't possess the other; potatoe masher workes just fine). Keep warm. For the Cilantro Cream: Combine the sour cream, cilantro and coriander in a small bowl and wisk to blend. Serve soup in bowls drizzled with the Cilantro Cream. I love this recipe. Thank you Carol and "Cooking up a Storm". I was told from the friend who purchased this book in New Orleans that the proceeds went to survivors.