Southwest Heritage Beans

Rich and I were in Tucson earlier this month and while visiting a farmers' market, I discovered a stand that sells a great variety of Southwest Heritage Beans. Martha Ames Burgess is the friendly lady who was tending this stand. She was also selling other seeds and spices. I bought chia seeds to put in my granola and I bought a couple of her heirloom beans; "Colorado River" and "Tom's Mix". Martha gave me one of her recipes to try, which I will soon, but I already had one in mind that I've been wanting to prepare.

The following recipe is usually prepared with pinto beans, which are the most used in my kitchen, but this time I used the Colorado River beans and it turned just as good and the heritage beans made it a lot creamier. Mmm, sabrosa!

Sopa de Frijoles
(Bean Soup)

3 C. frijoles de la olla, pot beans that is (whole canned pinto beans can be used)
2-3 C. bean broth (if using canned beans, you can use water)
1 T. oil
1/4 C finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 sprig of epazote, chopped (optional)
1/4 t. ground cumin
1 T. dried Mexican oregano

Salt to taste
Oil to fry
4 corn tortillas, cut into thin strips and fried
Queso fresco or Mexican crema or crème fraîche
Strips of fried pasilla chile or sun dried tomatoes could be used for garnish (optional)

In a blender, purée the frijoles with 2 cups of broth. In a large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil and sauté the onion until transparent. Add the garlic and epazote, cook for a couple minutes. Stir in the cumin and oregano, cook for a few seconds longer, then add the beans from the blender. Continue stirring until the mixture comes to a boil, add salt to taste and reduce to simmer. Cook for about 10 minutes. If too thick, add the remaining cup of broth. In a separate pan heat about 1/2 inch of oil and fry the tortilla strips a few at a time until crispy. Remove from oil and place on paper towels to drain. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with tortilla strips and queso fresco or dollop of cream. If using, add garnish.


Anonymous said...

Wow, Prieta, thank you for sharing this scrumptious recipe with the world! It is the perfect combination of flavors and the touch of crema is a crowning bliss. Can hardly wait to hear how you like the "Tom's Mix" Heirloom Beans--be sure to taste them when done and as yet unspiced. What gifts from the ancestors these beans are!

Prieta said...

Hi Martha,
Thanks you visiting by blog. I love beans and yours made my soup taste better than ussual. I'm planing to follow your recipe when I cook the "Tom's Mix", I'm sure I'm going to love it too. See you in Tucson!

Kim said...

Your recipe sounds amazing - I'm going to try it with some of my Tucson beans.

I made some of my heirloom Scarlet Runner beans - they are like huge dark red lima beans. Rich would hate them, but I loved them. l


Prieta said...

Hi Kim,
This is a very easy recipe but it is very tasty. I know you will enjoy it. I like the flavor of my Tucson beans but I which they'd keep their color after cooking, they would look so pretty in a salad.