SOPA DE FRIJOL : Spicy Beef Soup With Mayocoba Beans
Northern Mexican Food make an art of simple cowboy cooking with this substantial Soup with a picante kick—just the thing for a cold night. The yellow-green mayocoba beans (also known as peruviana) cook with the beef, absorbing the rich chipotle-infused broth until they are pale and creamy-soft. Any pink, red, or brown bean, such as pinto, bayo, or flor de mayo, may be substituted. This soup has a definite kick. If you prefer a milder version, you can reduce or omit the chipotles.
SERVES 4 to 6
2 large poblano chiles
1 cup dried mayocoba beans, rinsed and picked over
2 jalapeño chiles, stemmed and cut lengthwise into strips
2½ pounds very lean chuck or stew beef, cut into ¾-inch cubes
4 slices bacon
1 large white onion, diced
4 large cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon whole cumin seeds
1 tablespoon dried epazote or whole dried Mexican oregano
1 (7-ounce) can chipotles in adobo, with liquid, finely chopped
1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice, or 3 Roma tomatoes, finely chopped
4 cups Caldo de Res, or more as needed
2 cups water
Warm corn or flour tortillas
Char the poblanos over a gas flame or under a broiler until they are blistered on all sides. Let cool slightly, then peel, seed, and cut into 1-inch pieces.
Place the beans in the bottom of a 5-quart slow cooker. Top with the poblanos, jalapeños, beef, bacon, onion, garlic, salt, cumin, and epazote. Add the chipotles, tomatoes, broth, and water to the cooker.
Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
Turn the cooker to the warm setting and uncover. Let the soup settle for 15 minutes, then, using a large spoon, skim off as much fat as possible. Remove the bacon, cut it into small pieces, and return to the soup. Thin the soup, if desired, with a little more broth or water.
Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve hot with warm corn or flour
tortillas on the side.
• Substitute cubes of peeled red or white rose potato for the beans.
• For smoky flavor without the heat, substitute 3 tablespoons soy bacon bits for the chipotles.