Applebee's International, Inc. is the leader in the casual dining segment of the United States restaurant marketplace. The company franchises and operates more than 1,100 restaurants under the Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar name, about a quarter of which it owns. The eateries offer moderately priced, high-quality food and drink for all ages in a friendly, informal atmosphere. Applebee's is continuing to expand, with 1,800 outlets the company's stated goal. A smaller restaurant format has been designed for areas with populations under 25,000, to facilitate penetration of previously untapped markets.

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BLACK BEAN SOUP





SERVES  6-8

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup yellow onion, diced
1/4 cup carrots, diced
1/4 cup green bell pepper, diced
4 beef bouillon cubes
1 cup boiling Water
1 1/2 quarts (3 pounds) canned black beans, not drained
2 Tablespoons cooking sherry
1 Tablespoon distilled white vinegar
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons garlic, granulated
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, ground
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 cup smoked sausage, small diced
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
2 Tablespoons water

In a medium pot, place the olive oil, onion, carrot, and bell pepper.
Sauté the vegetables until tender.
Bring 1 cup of water to a boil, add the bouillon cubes.
Add the bouillon, cooked beans, and the remaining ingredients (except cornstarch and 2tablespoons water) to sautéed vegetables.
Bring mixture to a simmer and cook approximately 15 minutes.
In a blender, puree 1 quart of the soup, and put back into the pot.
In a separate bowl, combine the cornstarch and 2 tablespoon water.
Add the cornstarch mix to the soup and bring to a boil for 1 minute.
Serve with cornbread, white rice, or your favorite side dish.

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