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
2-3 C. bean broth (if using canned beans, you can use water)
1 T. oil
1/4 C finely chopped onion
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.