Morton's Restaurant Group, Inc. owns and operates Morton's of Chicago, a high-end steakhouse restaurant chain aimed at a business clientele, and Bertolini's Authentic Trattorias, a smaller chain offering Italian specialties in a casual dining atmosphere. At the end of 1998 Morton's Restaurant Group owned and operated 43 Morton's of Chicago and 12 Bertolini's units. All Morton's of Chicago restaurants were similar in style, concept, and decor, and were located in retail, hotel, commercial, and office building complexes in major metropolitan areas and urban centers. Catering primarily to business-oriented clients, Morton's of Chicago had an average per person check of about $65 in 1998. The Bertolini's restaurants offered white tablecloth service, with an average per person check of about $20. Morton's Restaurant Group also held a minority of stock in two other restaurant chains, Mick's and Peasant.




Black Bean Soup

Morton's the Steakhouse Recipe

Serves 6

1 pound dried black beans
2 slices bacon, diced
1 small Spanish onion, diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
1 small celery rib, diced
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
8 cups chicken broth
2 1/4 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper, plus more to taste
4 tablespoons diced red onion or green pepper, for garnish
1/2 cup sour cream, for garnish

Rinse the beans and transfer to a bowl. Cover the beans with cold water and let soak for at least 8 hours or overnight. Drain and change the water two or three times during the soaking, if possible.

In a large stockpot, cook the bacon over medium low heat for about 5 minutes, or until the fat is rendered and the bacon is starting to crisp. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic and cook, partially covered, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Drain the beans and add them to the pot. Add the chicken broth, chili powder, cumin, and pepper.

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