1/2 tsp vegetable oil (or rice bran, canola or other neutral oil)
1 small onion, chopped
6 oz beef hot links (or other smoked sausage), diced
28-oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 tsp Mexican oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 cup canned chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup salsa (I love Newman's Own peach salsa)
2 cups chicken broth (low sodium storebought, or homemade), or water
1/2 tsp green Tabasco or other hot sauce, to taste
In a Dutch oven or stockpot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sausage, and cook, stirring frequently, until the sausage is just beginning to brown, 3-4 minutes.
Add all of the remaining ingredients, and stir gently. Raise the heat to high, and bring the soup to a boil. Then reduce the heat to simmer, and cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
Use a wooden spoon to mash some of the beans against the side of the pot. This will help thicken the soup. Continue to cook for 5 more minutes.
If you used homemade chicken broth, taste the soup and add salt and pepper as needed.
Serve hot. Or, cool completely, pack into airtight containers, and freeze.