Mexican Minestrone

* 1 lb. ground beef
* 1 onion, diced
* 1 green pepper, diced
* 1 1/2 T. chili powder
* 1 T. cumin
* 1 t. garlic powder
* 1 t. salt
* 1/8 t. cayenne pepper, optional
* 1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes (do NOT drain)
* 4 c. beef stock
* 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
* 1 1/2 c. elbow macaroni
* Optional garnish: shredded cheese and/or sour cream

1. In a stock pot, brown ground beef with onion, pepper and seasonings. Drain. Stir in tomatoes, beef stock and black beans. Cover and simmer for about 10-15 minutes, just to let the flavors develop. (You can simmer this all day at this point, if you want.)

2. About 30 minutes per serving, remove cover from pot. Bring soup to a boil and stir in macaroni. Return soup to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer until noodles are tender, about 20 minutes.

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